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MIDAS: Global Marine Meteorological Observations Data

Update Frequency: Monthly
Latest Data Update: 2023-06-12
Status: Ongoing
Online Status: ONLINE
Publication State: Published
Publication Date: 2006-08-07
Download Stats: last 12 months
Dataset Size: 1.58K Files | 81GB


The global marine meteorological observations data contains marine meteorological values, such as wave heights and periods, wind speed and direction, present weather, and air and sea temperature, measured during the hour ending at the stated date and time. The data is collected by worldwide observation stations and transmitted within the following message types: Ship SYNOP, which is also referred to as FM 13-IX SHIP, FM 18-X BUOY, Light Vessel, Marid, Marine logbooks, NAVY, OWS, PLAT/RIG, and VOF. In this dataset the different message types are all described by the SHIP message name. Data are available from 1854 to present.

The data consist of:

Offshore wind (speed and direction)
Weather (present, past)
Cloud (amount, type, base amount, base height)
Pressure (mean sea level)
Temperature (air, dew-point, wetbulb, sea)
Relative humidity
Wave (direction, period, height)
Wind-wave (period, height)
Swell (direction, -wave period, height)
Ship direction and distance
Maximum gust speed and period

The wind speed is given to the nearest knot, direction to the nearest 10 degrees, and the time of the maximum gust is given to the nearest 0.1 hour. The wind direction from which the wind blows, is measured in Degrees (true). The entry for an east wind is 090, for a south wind it is 180 and so on clockwise. Note that zero values in both wind speed and wind direction fields indicate that there was no wind blowing at the time of observation.

The temperature and dew point are given to the nearest 0.1 degree Celsius, the pressure is given to the nearest 0.1 hectopascal, the cloud base height and the visibility are given to the nearest decametre. Cloud amount is reported in oktas.

The past weather is recorded as a number between 0-9 which details what the weather has been like in the last 6 hours for observations at 00, 06, 12, 1800 UTC, the last 3 hours for observations at 03, 09, 15, 2100 UTC and the previous hour at any other times. The past weather is only recorded when a manual observation is done at the station.

Marine reports are defined by position (latitude and longitude) and by time. Duplicates can exist at a specified position and time, e.g. when ships are alongside for bunkering, so the identifier of the ship or buoy is part of the primary key of the entity.

A great many ships do not include a valid call sign in their reports; the call sign may be missing or invalid. When this occurs, Midas will substitute the call sign value “SHIP”.

Citable as:  Met Office (2006): MIDAS: Global Marine Meteorological Observations Data. NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, date of citation.
Abbreviation: Not defined


Previous Info:
No news update for this record
Previously used record identifiers:
Access rules:
Restricted data: please submit an application using the REQUEST ACCESS link for access.
Use of these data is covered by the following licence: When using these data you must cite them correctly using the citation given on the CEDA Data Catalogue record.
Data lineage:

Data collated by the Met Office and archived in the Met Office's MIDAS database. Data are extracted from a sub-set of available tables and delivered to BADC approximately on a monthly basis as flat files.

Data Quality:
Data undergo quality checking by the Met Office. State of the data in the quality control process and level of data quality are indicated using version numbers and quality control flagging with the data. See documentation about how to use the quality control flagging and version numbers. There are also some known data from commissioning trials in the data, which are given a src_id of 99999. These should be ignored by the user.
File Format:
Data are ASCII formatted
  • long_name: 10 Metre U Wind
  • names: 10 Metre U Wind
  • long_name: 10 Metre V Wind
  • names: 10 Metre V Wind
  • long_name: 10 Minute Mean Wind Direction
  • names: 10 Minute Mean Wind Direction
  • long_name: 10 Minute Mean Wind Speed
  • names: 10 Minute Mean Wind Speed
  • long_name: 2 Metre Temperature
  • names: 2 Metre Temperature
  • long_name: Atmospheric Winds
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Atmospheric Winds
  • names: Atmospheric Winds,
  • long_name: Cloud Amount
  • names: Cloud Amount
  • long_name: Cloud Types
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Cloud Types
  • names:, Cloud Types
  • long_name: Clouds
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Clouds
  • names:, EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Clouds
  • long_name: Dry Bulb Temperature
  • names: Dry Bulb Temperature
  • long_name: Duration Of Rain
  • names: Duration Of Rain
  • long_name: High Cloud Cover
  • names: High Cloud Cover
  • long_name: Hourly Sunshine
  • names: Hourly Sunshine
  • long_name: Ice
  • names: Ice
  • long_name: Low Cloud Amount
  • names: Low Cloud Amount
  • long_name: Low Cloud Cover
  • names: Low Cloud Cover
  • long_name: Max Dry Bulb Temperature
  • names: Max Dry Bulb Temperature
  • long_name: Mean Hourly Wind Direction
  • names: Mean Hourly Wind Direction
  • long_name: Mean Hourly Wind Speed
  • names: Mean Hourly Wind Speed
  • long_name: Mean Near-Surface Air Temperature
  • names: Mean Near-Surface Air Temperature
  • long_name: Medium Cloud Cover
  • names: Medium Cloud Cover
  • long_name: Min Dry Bulb Temperature
  • names: Min Dry Bulb Temperature
  • long_name: Minimum Temperature
  • names: Minimum Temperature
  • long_name: Rain
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Rain
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Precipitation > Rain,
  • long_name: Sunshine
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Sunshine
  • names: EARTH SCIENCE > Atmosphere > Atmospheric Radiation > Sunshine,
  • long_name: Sunshine Amount
  • names: Sunshine Amount
  • long_name: Surface Winds
  • gcmd_url:
  • gcmd_keyword: Surface Winds
  • names:, Surface Winds
  • long_name: Total Cloud Cover
  • names: Total Cloud Cover
  • long_name: Wet Bulb Temperature
  • names: Wet Bulb Temperature
  • long_name: Wind Direction
  • names: Wind Direction
  • long_name: Wind Gusts At 10 m
  • names: Wind Gusts At 10 m
  • long_name: Windspeed
  • names: Windspeed

Co-ordinate Variables

Temporal Range
Start time:
End time:
Geographic Extent

Related parties
Authors (1)
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Principal Investigators (1)