UK record temperature data access

Posted on July 19, 2022 (Last modified on October 19, 2023) • 2 min read • 388 words
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As the UK heatwave peaks across the country, we have been putting together some handy tips for how to access temperature and related data for the UK. 

As a long-term archive there is usually a delay before such data are available via CEDA, though the data providers themselves may have earlier access to some products. To help users find and access available resources we’ve listed some below along with their availability timescales and other limitations.

Near-Real Time data:
The National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) operates a number of observatories around the UK with 24/7 instrumentation. You can view quick-look plots of their data via the links on this page.

Available with 48 hour delay:

SYNOP and METARS messages within the Met Office MetDB system: Surface, upper air and satellite data collection contain hourly observations from sites around the world; available via CEDA for academic and teaching purposes with an additional route for governmental use (approved by the Met Office).

Available with 6 day delay:

ERA5t data within the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) Re-Analysis 5 (ERA5) model data collection. These consist of hourly, globally gridded netCDF binary formatted data, including forecast data and ensemble members, means and spreads. Limited range of parameters via CEDA (surface and model levels only) - full range available via the Copernicus Data Store (all level types).

Available from the following month:

Met Office Integrated Data Archive System (MIDAS) Land and Marine Surface Stations Data (1853-current) - individual weather station data from around the UK. Available for academic and teaching purposes with an additional route for governmental use (approved by the Met Office).

Available the following year:

There will also be other datasets that will cover this period in due course (e.g. HadUK-Grid  - gridded observation data for the UK - and MIDAS Open - single site meteorological observations from around the UK). These datasets are freely available for all to use under the Open Government Licence (OGL). However, they are made available on an annual release cycle - so these data from the heatwave in July 2022 are unlikely to be made available until July 2023. If you are interested in the present versions of these data (to the end of 2021 and 2020 respectively) for historical comparisons please search the CEDA data catalogue or click on the links above.

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