EMS Technology Achievement Award 2022 for Weather Observation Website (WOW)
– The EMS Technology Achievement Award for significant technology achievements and innovations in the field of meteorology and earth observation –
The European Meteorological Society (EMS) has selected the Weather Observation Website (WOW) Project as the recipient of the EMS Technology Achievement Award 2022 for the open accessibility of near real time weather observations and photographs that stimulates involvement of the public to take part in weather and climate sciences.
The accessibility to near real time weather observations and photographs assists forecasters in providing more accurate and timely warning systems and enables first responders to prepare for extreme events in good time – thereby lessening the impacts on lives and property. It also stimulates the public to take part in weather and climate science because of its open data policy. It has the potential to increase the general interest in and knowledge about weather factors and how forecasts and warnings are issued. Not just by welcoming private weather station observations, but, for instance, WOW for Schools could offer an important contribution to such knowledge if spread to more countries. In other words: It is really “citizen science”.
WOW is a web application where professional and amateur meteorologists can share observations from their private weather stations. On one hand these data are mapped and graphed on the WOW website and support real time monitoring of the current weather, with a much higher density than can be provided by NMHS professional weather stations. On the other hand, these and historical data can be downloaded for free for all purposes, which supports open data and open science. In addition, substantial effort is spent on metadata about the contributing weather stations, resulting in a quality classification of all stations based on instrument siting, local roughness and nearby obstacles as well as the degree of urbanization.
Apart from the fact that WOW currently has 30,033 users worldwide and is receiving over 1 million observations a day, the WOW initiative also has contributed to 51 scientific peer-reviewed journal papers (Source: Scopus.com 30 Jan 2022) in which WOW observations are used in the field of meteorology, microclimate, energy demand studies, human health, and weather hazard analysis. Also, WOW for Schools (https://wow.metoffice.gov.uk/education) provides a real-time tool to help people learn about the weather for the U.K. WOW can be used in the classroom or at home to explore many aspects of the UK weather, and the Met Office has teamed up with the Royal Meteorological Society to provide resources for schools to use.
The Award will be presented at the Awards Session during the EMS Annual Meeting in Bonn.
Note to editors:
Weather Observation Website (WOW) was launched by the UK MetOffice in June 2011, in partnership with the Royal Meteorological Society and support from the Department for Education. The website was upgraded in 2016 into the current site. The purpose of the website is to provide a platform for the sharing of current weather observations from all around the globe, regardless of where they come from, what level of detail or the frequency of reports. Its main users comprise of the members of the public who use the platform to submit their weather observations either manually or automatically via their private weather stations, Voluntary Climate Network Observers who input their climate data manually, academic students and other National Meteorological Services who partner with the Metoffice to exploit the capability offered by WOW Engine
About the Met Office: The Met Office is the UK’s National Meteorological Service, providing 24×7 world-renowned scientific excellence in weather, climate and environmental forecasts and severe weather warnings for the protection of life and property. www.metoffice.gov.uk
The Met Office Hadley Centre for Climate Science and Services provides world-class guidance on the science of climate change and is the primary focus in the UK for climate science. Its work is, in part, jointly funded by BEIS (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) and DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs).
EMS Technology Achievement Award. The European Meteorological Society (EMS) seeks to recognize achievements that are influential on developments of technologies and technical solutions in meteorology and related areas (e.g. oceanography, atmospheric chemistry and hydrology). The EMS Technology Achievement Award is granted to individuals or corporations in recognition of technological contributions associated with instrumentation and methodologies used in these areas, have advanced the methods and technologies of environmental observing and forecasting systems and demonstrated the potential to impact on the field at the European scale.
EMS Annual Meeting. The theme of the conference is Connecting communities to deliver seamless weather and climate science and services. More information on the EMS Annual Meeting: European Conference on Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 4-9 September 2022, in Bonn, Germany, is available at https://www.ems2022.eu/home.html.