25 September 2017
The States of Jersey Meteorological Section (Jersey Met) is due to move to its new Department of the Environment South Hill office on Tuesday 26 September.
Jersey Met’s relocation from airport arrivals, known as the ‘Airport 1937 building’ will allow work to start to prepare for the building’s demolition.
Responsibility for Jersey aviation observations will move to the airport’s air traffic control team. At the same time, a long-running record of weather observations carried out by meteorologists will be automated.
Jersey Met has made brief hourly manual observations of the weather conditions at Jersey Airport (known as SYNOP - surface synoptic observations) for the last 65 years.
The data collected by meteorologists each hour includes
• weather description
• cloud types and amounts
• types and intensities of precipitation
• special phenomena, such as rainbows, halos etc.
The last manual SYNOP observation will take place on Monday 25 September at 10 am. After that, observations will be done by computer. An advantage of the new approach is that a small amount of time will be saved by Jersey Met staff each hour, and computerised observations will feed directly into the UK Met Office system.
However, the observations will provide less information, for example the type, quality and depth of cloud cover, and range of visibility won’t be detected by the electronic system, and the new information won’t allow direct comparisons with the weather information collected for the last 65 years.
Jersey Met will continue to provide expert meteorological services to the Channel Islands and the move to South Hill has no direct impact on the Maison St Louis Observatory and instrument site in St Helier, the weather radar, and other meteorological recording equipment and climate stations Jersey Met has located across the Island.
Principal Meteorologist, John Searson said ‘Jersey Met and Ports of Jersey are working closely to find the best longer-term solution. Ports appreciates the value of us being located at the airport because of the proximity to the runway and the real time observations we can provide to pilots which, particularly in marginal conditions, help to keep people flying.’