BBC extends Met Office weather forecast contract

The BBC has extended its contract with the Met Office to supply weather information after its replacement provider failed to be ready in time.

Meteogroup was expected to take over providing meteorological data for TV, radio and online in spring 2017.

But delays mean the Met Office’s contract will now end in March 2018.

In August 2015, the BBC announced it was changing weather forecasting provider to “secure the best value for money for licence fee payers”.

At the time, it said the contract change would save the corporation “millions of pounds”.

The previous deal with the Met Office, which has provided the data used for BBC forecasts since the corporation’s first radio weather bulletin in 1922, ended on 30 September 2017.

Severe weather warnings

A Met Office spokeswoman said: “As the UK’s national weather service we will always ensure the UK public have the weather information they need so they can make informed decisions.

“We are continuing to provide the BBC with their weather services, having signed a contract out to March 2018.”

When Meteogroup takes over the service, the BBC will continue to show all national severe weather warnings as agreed with the Exeter-based Met Office.

Under the terms of the deal, the BBC will also be supported by the UK’s national meteorological service at times of severe weather.

A BBC spokesman told the Guardian: “As is well known, we’re changing our weather services provider and it’s only right we take the time to make sure the new and improved service and graphics provide audiences with the best possible service.

“BBC Weather will continue to give people reliable forecasts on television, radio, online and our app.”

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