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Met Office weather services help EHO's.

A SERIES of products tailored for environmental health officers have been launched by the Met Office, the government-owned weather research and products service. The measures specifically look at the likelihood of the impact of rainfall in targeted areas as well as offering precise forecasting on the nature and location of impending thunderstorms.

The Met Office Rainfall and Evaporation Calculation System (MORECS) has been designed for use in a range of areas that environmental officers may encounter on a daily basis. A spokesman for the Met Office said that MORECS is aimed at water authorities and industries and local government that are involved with environmental, insurance and agricultural issues. These include estimating leachate from landfill sites, river flow and input to river-flow models, notably helping to predict flooding, and evaporation from open reservoirs. The Met Office has also developed a means to analyse satellite data to pick out convective clouds and issue thunderstorm warnings. The system, called Gandolf, can predict the development and decay of heavy showers on a 2 km grid, a tool that the Met Office says is useful for council officials and hospitals--summer thunderstorms frequently trigger a rise in asthma-related admissions to hospital. The model runs every 15 minutes when showers are detected and forecasts of instantaneous rain rates provide up to three hours advance notice.

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Author:Rowe, Mark
Publication:International News
Date:Oct 1, 2006
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