Insomniacs will know from the shipping forecast and weather reports, that most met forecasts are now derived from automated data stations. What puzzles me is why, in the RN, the Hydrography/Meteorological (HM) branch seems to be expanding at light speed. Naval Air Stations in particular seem to have Met Sections that have more people than are necessary to man a frigate (alright - slight exaggeration) - they call themselves watchkeepers but Met Observers rarely do more than go outside and gaze at the clouds every fifteen minutes - odd when you think that there is a laser cloud reader, whizzo bits of kit that measure rainfall etc and the BBC weather forecast. Met Officers are also seriously weird - clearly failed schoolies, they wrap up their rubbish in pseudo science - frankly, a bit of seaweed and a seamans eye provides more accurate information. It seems to me, that the Meteorological specialisation is living in the 1950's and is an anachrosism that would prove a far better bet for efficiency savings than the front line.