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150th anniversary of the Shipping Forecast

1st September 2017

The Met Office is celebrating 150 uninterrupted years of the Shipping Forecast, which is believed to be the longest running continuous forecast in the world.

The first gale warning was issued following a violent storm in 1859 but it was not until 1867 that gale warnings at sea were issued on a regular basis and they have continued ever since.

The Royal Charter storm off the coast of North Wales in 1859 led to the deaths of 800 people and the loss of 133 ships.  Following this tragedy Robert FitzRoy persuaded the Board of Trade to allow him to start storm warnings in a bid to prevent tragedies like this happening again.

These maritime storm warnings evolved into what is now the iconic shipping forecast, provided by the Met Office on behalf of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), and the start of Met Office forecasts as we know them today.

 

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