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Weather 🌦️ Celebrating 170 years of the Met Office

'Royal Mail' has released eight stamps to mark the 170th anniversary of the Met Office which depict the history, science and future of weather forecasting. The unique set of stamps is available for pre-order now from the Royal Mail website.

Professor Penny Endersby CBE, Chief Executive of the Met Office said: “The Met Office has a proud position in UK history. As an island nation we are often at the mercy of the weather and our role is to help people stay safe and thrive in every corner of the UK and beyond. As these beautiful stamps demonstrate, the Met Office has constantly evolved from our roots at the pioneering edge of weather forecasting through to technical innovations of the modern era.”


Take the opportunity to discuss the British weather and things associated with it. List as many weathers as you can and think of things associated with those weathers ...

- Sun: sunburn, loose clothes, slip slap slop (sun cream), sunglasses, hats, cold drinks, ice lollies

- Rain: wellies, Macs, jumping in puddles, rainbows, getting splashed by passing traffic

- Extremes: counting the seconds between thunder and lightning, watching waves in a gale, avoiding floods, keeping cool in heatwaves

- Snow & ice: making snowmen, walking on frosty grass, driving in a blizzard

- In between types of weather: staying in when it is foggy or drizzling.

What are members' favourite weathers and seasons and why?

Discuss climate change and how to reduce global temperatures.

Ideas might include:

- Turning down thermostats by 1 degree C

- Avoiding using coal and log fires

- Recuding and removing plastics

- Recycling paper, glass, tins etc

- Buying fewer clothes, white goods, cars etc

- Changing from gas and petrol to electric.


Ask members to complete these weather related idioms together ...

It's raining cats and DOGS

As right as RAIN

It'll be a BREEZE

Be snowed UNDER

Break the ICE

Calm before the STORM


Come rain or SHINE

Every cloud has a silver LINING

Fair weather FRIEND

It never rains but it POURS

Face like THUNDER

As fast as LIGHTNING

Storm in a TEACUP

Take a rain CHECK

Throw caution to the WIND

Feeling under the WEATHER

Save for a rainy DAY

On cloud NINE

Make hay while the sun SHINES

Head in the CLOUDS


Here are some questions to go with the stamps ...

  • Name some different types of clouds?

  • Which barometer pressure, low or high, indicates it will be cloudy, rainy or windy?

  • Who captained the 'Terra Nova' expedition to the South Pole?

  • What is your shipping forecast area?

  • What were the code names of the 5 'D-Day' landing beaches in Normandy?

  • What does the red colour on a radar weather map indicates heavier rain, red or green?

  • What was the first satellite launched into space in 1957 called?

  • Name as many of the weather forecasters below as you can?


Here are a couple of other types of forecasters. Who are they?

Check out your shipping area ...

And if anyone listens to the 'Radio 4 Shipping Forecast', here is the music that features every night ...

Ask members to list the twelve 'Signs Of The Zodiac'?

What star sign are members? Does anyone follow their stars? Maybe read a couple of 'Stars' out from a newspaper.


National Umbrella Day' is on 10th February

Name this couple taking cover from the rain?

Complete the rhyme?

"Doctor Foster went to ********** ... "

Talking of puddles, which TV sitcom is this sketch from? 

If it rains on St Swithun's Day, how many days will it rain in a row?

Complete the rhyme ... "It's raining, it's pouring ... "

What is it said to mean when cows, as a whole herd, lie down? Do you think there is any truth in this saying?

What year was the 15th October 'hurricane' that hit the UK, causing widespread damage and disruption? What was the name of the weatherman who got it wrong? Did anyone have any damage? 

What emergency service did Joe and Petunia advertise in the 1980s? Here's the advert -

What is the name of the scale which measures the strength of wind? In what year did the Met Office start naming storms?

In the USA, a tropical storm is called a 'Hurricane'. What is this type of weather event called if it occurs in the Southern Hemisphere?

True or False. Hurricane experts are considering adding a 6th point on the 'Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale' due to stronger winds anticipated because of climate change?

True or False. If a tropical storm (or cyclone) occurs in the Northern hemisphere, it rotates anti-clockwise. If it occurs in the Southern Hemisphere, it rotates clockwise? (The same happens with water going down a plug.)

What is the proper name for a 'Twister'?

Complete the saying?

"Red sky at night ... " True or False. This saying first appeared in the 'Book Of Matthew' in the New Testament?

Is there any truth in countinig seconds between a flash of lighting and a clap of thunder to tell how many miles away the storm is?

What year was the 'Beast From The East'?What is the coldest temperature ever recorded in the UK (nearest guess)?

What about the hottest day ever recorded in the UK. Guess at the temperature reached?

What are the seven colours in a rainbow?

Which mythical being, common in Irish folklore, can be found at the end of a rainbow?

What is his occupation?

You need a clear northern sky to see this phenomenon, as Joanna Lumley did in 2008. What is the common and the proper name given to them?

Name these two climate change activists?What is the age difference, do you think?

Which £1m prize did Prince William launch in 2020 to support climate and environmental innovators across the world?

What was Cilla Black's real name?


Name the 1939 movie, the characters and actors? What did the movie have to do with weather? Here's the song -

Name the 1942 movie & the characters? Which month featured in one of the main songs from the movie? Here's the song -

Name the 1952 movie, the characters & the actors? What is the movie about? Here's the song -

Name the 1954 movie, the characters & actors? Which 1942 movie was it based on? Here's the song -

Name the 1961 movie, the characters & actors? Can you actually get breakfast there? Here's the song -

Name the 1964 movie, the characters & actors? True or False. The actor on the left apologised for his dreadful Cockney accent in 2017? Here's a song -

Name the 1964 movie, the characters & the actors? Which song in the movie is about the weather? Here's the song -

Name the 1965 movie, the characters (how many of the children can you name) & the lead actress? How many songs from the movie can you name? Here's the song -

Name the 1972 disaster movie & name the two (centre) lead actors? What is the Greek god named in the movie title god of?

Name the 1980 horror movie? Who wrote the book?

Name the 1980 comedy movie & the actor on the left? Who is on the right?

Name the 1980 horror movie, the character & the actor? What was his job before he died?

Name the 1996 movie & the actors? What is the proper name for this weather phenomenon?

Name the 1997 movie, the characters & actors? What sank the ship? Here's the song - There is also this Brexit comedy clip -

Name the 1999 movie, the characters & actors? I've included this movie because of this fabulous clip where the seasons change a walk in the market -

Name the 2000 movie, the character & the actor? Name his volleyball friend?

Name the 2004 movie about climate change & the actor?

Which newsreader famously got up and danced on their 1976 Christmas show?


You could play this as a 'Name That Tune' round ...

Here are some questions to go with the songs ...

What was the name of the 1972 movie starring Diana Ross about Billie Holiday's life?

Which singer songwriter wrote the song 'American Pie' about Buddy Holly ("the day the music died")?

Which 1969 movie starring Robert Redford and Paul Newman 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head'?

Neil Sedaka's first UK hit in 1959 included a girl's name ('Oh, *****.'). What was it?

Johnny Cash's first UK hit in 1969 also included a girl's name ('A boy named ***.'). What was it?

Who was Elton John singing about in the 1973 single 'Candle In The Wind'?

Bob Dylan's 1963 single 'Blowin' In The Wind' was a civil rights and anti-war anthem. Which war did it protest against?

Which musical instruments did Karen and Richard Carpenter play?

Which 1970 James Taylor album did this single feature on ('Sweet **** *****')?

Katrina And The Waves won the 1997 'Eurovision Song Contest' with which song (it was the last time the UK won)?

What was the other 1969 Kinks hit single about the sun?

Which classical musician composed 'The Four Seasons' in 1720?

Which Beatle composed the song 'Here Comes The Sun' in 1969?

Which weather phenomenon features in the 1966 Amii Stewart single 'Knock On Wood'?

Which two biblical words feature in the chorus of the 1983 Weather Girls single 'It's Raining Men'? Which singer songwriter composed the song 'Both Sides Now', which featured on their 1969 album 'Clouds'?

True or False. 'Northern Lights' was Renaissance's only UK single, i.e. they were a one hit wonder?

What do the initials 'E.L.O.' stand for?

Which 1988 movie did the Bette Midler song 'Wind Beneath My Wings' feature in?

What should you do in a heatwave?

What was the name of the singer Elkie Brooks sang about in her first 1977 single?

Here is your Spotify playlist ...


Thanks to Martha P for this suggestion.

Members could be helped to make 'Easy DIY Suncatchers' - how to guide here -

Here's what you'll need:

coloured glass gems or stones of any size or shape (you can find them at most craft stores)

clean plastic lids from round ice cream tub or similar (any container lid will do, but that's the general size you want)

clear 'Elmer's Glue' or similar

ribbon for hanging

Step 1.  Squeeze some clear glue all over the lid (the flat side of the lid should be facing down- you need the edges of the lid up to hold your stones and glue in). Make sure it's enough to coat the lid. Then start placing your stones down, shiny side up.

Step 2.  After you finish your design, squirt some more glue around it/over it to solidify your design. Don't forget to put you ribbon deep into the glue.

Step 3.  Let it dry, at least 3-4 days (mine took longer, more like 5 days). You'll know when it's ready because it will start to peel away from the lid really easily. If you try to peel it away and you still see gluey strings or it still seems like it's wet or stuck to the lid, let it dry more.