The gridded data sets are based on the archive of UK weather observations held at the Met Office. The density of the station network used varies through time, and for different climate variables - for example, for the temperature variables the number of stations rises from about 270 in 1910s to 600 in the mid-1990s, before falling to 450 in 2006. Regression and interpolation are used to generate values on a regular grid from the irregular station network, taking into account factors such as latitude and longitude, altitude and terrain shape, coastal influence, and urban land use. This alleviates the impact of station openings and closures on homogeneity, but the impacts of a changing station network cannot be removed entirely, especially in areas of complex topography or sparse station coverage. The methods used to generate the monthly and annual grids are described in more detail in a paper published in the International Journal of Climatology, vol. 25 (2005), pages 1,041-1,054. The methods used to generate the daily grids are described in more detail in the report 'The generation of the daily gridded data sets of temperature and rainfall for the UK', Met Office, 2009 and the long term averages are described in a paper published in the International Journal of Climatology, vol. 25 (2005), pages 1,023-1,039.
To help users combine the observational data sets with the UKCP18 climate projections, the 1km x 1km grid is averaged to grids at resolutions to match those of the climate projections. Each 12 x 12 km or 60 x 60 km grid box value is an average of the all the 1 x 1 km grid cell values that fall within it. A set of regional values for UK administrative regions, river basins and countries are calculated as the average of all 1 x 1 km grid cell values that fall within the defined geography.
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