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Met Office Integrated Data Archive System (MIDAS)

Status: ongoing
Publication State: published


Since the early days of this century the Met Office has been responsible for maintaining the public memory of the weather. All meteorological observations made in the UK and over neighbouring sea areas have been carefully recorded and placed in an archive where they may be accessed today by those with an interest in the weather and where they will also be available to those in future generations. The current climate database is MIDAS (Met Office Integrated Data Archive System) which has a relational structure. The MIDAS database contains the following general types of meteorological data: surface observations over land areas of the UK as far back as the digital record extends, a selection of global surface observations for the last 20 years, global surface marine observations from national and international sources as far back as the digital record extends, radiosonde observations over the UK, and at overseas stations operated by the Met Office, as far back as the digital record extends, a selection of global radiosonde observations for the last 10 years.

Abbreviation: midas
Keywords: Not defined


Keywords: Not defined
Previously used record identifiers:

More Information (under review)


Surface observations over the UK meet many different requirements in such areas as forecasting, civil aviation, defence, commerce, industry, agriculture and research. Stations are organised into networks which are designed to meet particular user requirements, the details of which are contained in a series of UKON (United Kingdom Observation Network) documents; UKON1 deals with the synoptic network, UKON2 with the climate network, UKON4 with the wind network, UKON5 with the rainfall network and UKON8 with the sunshine and radiation network.

Observation station use specialised apparatus to measure certain parameters, then transmit the results in a type of message (i.e. a SYNOP message), which may then be picked up by the Met Office, decoded, and later stored in the MIDAS archive in the BADC.

In the MIDAS dataset there are, in general, measurements of:

  • Temperature
  • Pressure
  • Radiation
  • Sunshine
  • Visibility
  • Present and Past Weather
  • Clouds

  • The Met Office Fact-sheet #17 describes the instrumentation used to collect much of the data, and also includes diagrams of the apparatus set-up.

    For more information as to what is present in the MIDAS dataset, the Met Office Surface Data Users Guide, describes the meteorological surface data and how it is obtained in the Met Office Database - MIDAS.

    Related Documents

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