Clouds Over Mountain Weather Forecast
The UK's best mountain weather forecast from MWIS is set for severe reductions in the New Year thanks to a lack of funding south of the border.
Posted: 24 December 2004
Bad news if you're a fan of the Mountain Weather Information
Service's excellent forecasts - the service south of the border is
going to be severely restricted from early January.
Run by Geoff Monk, a professional meterologist who used to work
for the Met Office, the MWIS offers indisputably the most detailed
and useful mountain-specific forecast out there. Covering eastern and
western Highlands, the Lakes, Peak and Snowdonia, it combines a
detailed forecast for the day with a two-day outlook including likely
windspeeds, their effect on walkers on high ground, summit
temperatures, visibility and lots more. The forecasts are available
as downloadable PDFs.
UInfortunately though, it looks as if the English and Welsh
forecasts are going to be severely restricted from early January. The
basic reason is funding. Geoff tells us that while he's been able to
cooperate with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland and the Met
Office to produce a viable proposal for funding from the Scottish
National Assembly, there doesn't seem to be the same level of
interest south of the border in England.In Wales, the Met Office
already produces publically-funded mountain forecasts for Snowdonia
and the Brecon Beacons, so that's less of a worry.
Unlike many other forecasts, the MWIS uses data from a number of
different forecasting models, with considerable interpretation by
skilled meteorologists who also have mountaineering expertise. That
means the forecasts are labour intensive and expensive to produce
which is at the root of the problem.
Since Geoff announced the reduction in service, he's been
astonished by the number of letters of support he's received.
Unfortunately though, harsh commercial realities mean that without
the prospect of funding, the service outside Scotland isn't
sustainable. The amount needed is tiny in public-funding terms, but a
lot for a commercial sponsor.
It would be a real shame if the MWIS forecasts in England and
Wales cease to exist, so we're asking you, if you're in a position
where you may be able to offer practical help with funding or
lobbying for funding, to get in touch with Geoff.
The web site is at www.mwis.org.uk
and you can reach Geoff by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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