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Jersey Met's UK links improve traveller safety

15 March 2017

Jersey Met is working more closely with its UK counterparts to improve safety and convenience for air travellers and to limit the misery caused by extended periods of fog, experienced in Jersey recently.

Jersey’s meteorologists, who are part of the Department of the Environment, have been working hard to maintain and improve links with the UK Met Office Aviation team.

The UK Met has forecasters working in teams at Gatwick, Heathrow and EasyJet Operations at Luton. Fast and direct access to the teams at Gatwick and EasyJet Operations helps provide a better service to Jersey Airport, by, for example, allowing forecasters to exchange information about local fog conditions.

UK Met office

Jersey forecasters are planning to spend time with the UK Met office’s operations team in due course to learn more about how they work.

Recent foggy conditions have disrupted travelling arrangements for thousands of Islanders. At one point last week, when no flying was taking place, Jersey Met's forecasters were exceptionally busy providing professional advice direct to commercial pilots about their chances of landing.  Consequently, few pilots tried to land, saving fuel for airlines and wasted time for the passengers.

The closer working relationship and direct communication also meant that when a brief window of opportunity to fly opened, Jersey-bound commercial pilots were able to make the most of it very quickly.

Base at Jersey Airport

Principal Forecaster at Jersey Met, John Searson, said ‘Our close proximity to the runway at Jersey Airport combined with the strong links we’ve forged with our UK counterparts means that when weather conditions improve or deteriorate – as they do so rapidly – we can quickly communicate those changes.

“During poor weather, our forecasters spend a considerable amount of time talking to commercial pilots, and even more so in foggy conditions when pilots ask for advice before launching. The forecasters’ current uninterrupted view of the full runway allows them to give real time, second-by-second information to pilots, who value their professional view of their chances of making a successful landing.

“I'm proud of the dedication and effort our forecasters put in to get this detailed and professional communication right, and the part they play in helping all Islanders and visitors get to where they need to be.”

Jersey Met services to the Channel Islands

Jersey Met provides meteorological services to the Channel Islands communities and specialised services to meet the needs of specific industries including Channel Island airfields, the Channel Islands Control Zone and a comprehensive shipping forecast.  
It provides:

  • Observations 365 days per year, weather forecast 84% accurate 
  • Recorded weather forecasts including Jersey, Guernsey, shipping and a Jersey six-day outlook live weather data 
  • Weather statistics and a climate record for Jersey, dating back to 1894
  • Monthly climatological reports and other specialist reports
  • An official climate station based at Maison St Louis Observatory
  • Regular weather forecasts and updates to the local and national media
  • Personal and up-to-the-minute weather forecasting
  • Weather forecasts on Twitter @Jersey_Met
  • Weather warnings on Twitter @Jersey_MetCI
  • Maintenance of the infrastructure for wider weather forecasting services, such as the weather radar
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