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by the NFCC

Control measure

Monitor weather conditions

Control measure knowledge

Current and forecast weather conditions should be monitored for any positive or negative impacts on operational activity, and any risks to the health and safety of members of the public, personnel and other emergency responders.

Visual observation of the weather and available meteorological information should be assessed. Current and forecast weather conditions should be used to inform risk assessments and the incident plan. It may be necessary to request further or more detailed meteorological information throughout the incident if this could benefit the delivery of operational tactics or improve the health and safety of members of the public, personnel and other emergency responders.

Meteorological information may be obtained from organisations such as the Met Office. Their Hazard Manager service is designed to provide consistent weather-related information and interpretation for emergency responders. Their FireMet weather system is designed to provide fire and rescue services with the latest weather information to help them identify a safe approach when dealing with a major incident. It provides three hours of hindcast data, as well as three hours of forecast data. The aim of FireMet is to provide immediate access to forecast conditions, while waiting for a more detailed Chemical Meteorology (CHEMET) report, which can be used to track the dispersion of a chemical release.

Consideration should also be given to the presence of a microclimate and its potential impact on weather conditions. Microclimates can be created by topography, buildings or structures and can affect conditions such as temperature, wind direction, wind speed and pollution plumes. More information is provided in the Met Office fact sheet about microclimates.

Lightning

Guidance for operational activity if there are weather warnings for lightning is provided in Safe system of work: Lightning.

Severe weather

Guidance for the impact of severe weather on communities and the operational response is provided in Safe system of work: Severe weather.

Strategic actions

Fire and rescue services should:
  • Provide personnel with access to meteorological information, such as that provided by the Met Office

  • Ensure that processes are in place to enable the timely communication of forecast weather conditions to operational and fire control personnel

Tactical actions

Incident commanders should:
  • Monitor current and forecast weather conditions for any positive or negative impacts they may have on operational activity and any risks to the health and safety of members of the public, personnel and other emergency responders

  • Use visual observation of the weather and available meteorological information about current and forecast conditions to inform risk assessments and the incident plan

  • Request additional meteorological information if this could benefit the delivery of operational tactics or improve the health and safety of members of the public, personnel and other emergency responders

  • Consider the presence of a microclimate and its potential impact on weather conditions