Meteorological Office Data

Scope and Content

(Symons's) British Rainfall, 1865-1968; General Tables of Total Rainfall from British Rainfall, 1928-1968; Monthly and annual totals of Rainfall for the United Kingdom, 1970-1971; Snow Survey of Great Britain, 1967-1989; and copies of Thunderstorm Survey (1970 & 1978) published by Thunderstorm Census Organisation

Administrative / Biographical History

George K. Symons (1838-1900) was an English meteorologist originally employed by the meteorological department (founded 1854) of the Board of Trade, which was the forerunner of the Meteorological Office. When Symons left this position he and a group of volunteers began to carry out surveys into the particulars of rainfall patterns throughout Britain. This led to the publication of annual rainfall survey, known as Symons's British Rainfall based on information recorded by observers around the country. By the time of his death data was being collected from over 3,000 sites. Upon his death the publication continued as British Rainfall under other editors. From 1919 the volumes were published by the Meteorological Office (by the part of the Air Ministry. British Rainfall was discontinued following the publication of the volume for 1968. Thereafter separate volumes were produced with one detailing rainfall and the other detailing snowfall (which had previously been covered by a small section in British Rainfall). Ultimately, publication of all of the surveys was discontinued as a cost cutting measure. The Thunderstorm Census Organization was founded by S. Morris Bower in 1924, but following his death it became a part of the Tornado and Storm Research Organization in 1984.


Records are arranged chronologically within series.

Access Information

Open for consultation subject to preservation requirements. Access must also conform to the restrictions of the Data Protection Act and any other appropriate legislation.

Acquisition Information

From Scottish Water via National Archives of Scotland (2008/315)

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Physical Characteristics and/or Technical Requirements


Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Kenneth Baxter, April 2009.

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction is available subject to preservation requirements. Charges are made for this service, and copyright and other restrictions may apply.

Custodial History

Deposited in the National Archives of Scotland by Scottish Water. Records unwanted by NAS so Scottish Water contacted Andrew Black (University of Dundee, Geography) who recommended to Archives Services, University of Dundee that we take them. NAS does have other Scottish Water records


None expected

Location of Originals

The material is original