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The Met Office - MEDIN data archive centre for marine meteorological (metocean) data

about The Met Office

The Met Office was established in 1854 as a small department within the Board and Trade and now, more than 150 years on, is the UK’s National Weather Service.  In addition to weather forecasting the Met Office’s Hadley Centre is one the world’s leading climate research centres.  The Met Office operates as a Trading Fund within the government’s Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and is required to meet targets as set by its Ministerial Owner. 

Within the area of marine data the Met Office maintains a network of instrumented moored buoys and systems on light vessels, manages a fleet of around 300 Voluntary Observing Ships (some with automated systems on-board), manages the UK Argo programme and deploys drifting buoys in support of the European (E-SURFMAR) and international global drifter programme.  The Met Office is active within the international World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) - Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM).

data held

The Met Office Oracle climate database (MIDAS) currently contains over 130 million marine meteorological observations from ships, moored buoys, light vessels, coastal systems and rigs/platforms dating back to 1854 up to the present.  Data received over the WMO Global Telecommunications System (GTS) are ingested daily, adding around 16,000 observations per day.

In addition the Hadley Centre maintain a number of key global marine climate datasets including: HadISST - Globally complete sea-ice and sea-surface temperature; HadSST2 - Uninterpolated sea-surface temperature; MOHMAT - Uninterpolated night marine air temperature; EN3 - ENSEMBLES: quality controlled in situ ocean temperature and salinity profiles; HadGOA - Global subsurface ocean analysis of temperature and HadDTR - A climatology of the diurnal temperature range of the Sea Surface. 

Also, a wide range of Met Office ocean model datasets (including the high resolution OSTIA global SST products) are made available via the Godiva2 Live Access Server run by the NERC ESSC as part of the wider NCOF (National Centre for Ocean Forecasting) consortium. 

submitting data

Data are submitted by prior mutual agreement (and possibly a contract) between the Met Office and the submitting party. The first stage is to submit a catalogue of the data being offered for archiving. The Met Office will then assess the contents of the catalogue and if necessary enter into discussion to clarify information in the catalogue. Depending on the volume, type, media and quality of the data, the Met Office may quote a cost for accessioning the data into the archive. The agreement will include a schedule for delivery to the Met Office. The Met Office primarily accepts digital data only. Paper records will only be accepted in exceptional circumstances.

accessing the data

All ship and buoy data are exchanged internationally via the WMO GTS and are available through the International Comprehensive Ocean Atmosphere DataSet (ICOADS)

Real-time data (previous 24 hours) from the Met Office moored buoys, light vessels and coastal stations around the UK are available via the Met Office web-site.

All UK Argo float data are archived by BODC and are available through the two Global Argo Data Assembly Centres (GDACS) in France (Coriolis) and USGODAE.
Global marine climate datasets maintained by the Met Office Hadley Centre are made available for download free of charge for scientific research and private study.

Most data are publicly available although some third party datasets may require approval from the original data owner before data can be released. A charge may apply to cover distribution costs and any additional work required. See the Met Office terms of use.

data use

Marine meteorological data from the Met Office is utilised by a diverse range of users including public, commercial and academic organisations for a wide variety of applications. Examples include climate research, legal cases, ship builders, renewable energy companies, university projects etc.

contact details


Global Collecting Centre
Met Office
Saughton House
Broomhouse Drive
EH11 3XQ


+44 (0)131 528 7312 (direct)