Feeds

UK Met Office to simplify weather forecasts

How are they going to do that?

Build a business case: developing custom apps

BBC weather forecasts, not renowned for being enormously difficult to follow, are about to be simplified, the Met Office says, in a bid to make them "clearer and more relevant" to more people.

Apparently, showery outbreaks will never darken our doorways again, though we might still be inconvenienced by patchy rain. Similarly, it will not be "chilly in isolated areas". Instead - and this sounds so much nicer - it will be "warm for most".

The Met Office has proposed new guidelines after consulting its staff on how they thought the weather ought to be presented, the BBC reports.

The result is that forecasters will be warned off over-dramatising the weather [like Michael Fish did in 1987? - Ed] and will face wagging fingers if they start a forecast on a negative note if most of the country will be fine.[But they always start with Scotland - Ed]

The Met Office, rather predictably, denies that it is dumbing-down the weather, or trying to portray it in a more positive light.

A spokesman for the Met Office elaborated: "One of the problems is understanding what a weather forecaster is trying to tell you. High temperatures for most are a good thing, but for farmers, for example, who need rain they may not be."

He concluded that forecasters "should just give the temperatures, and say if they are above or below the yearly average, and let the public decide if they are good or bad".

Now, we at El Reg are all in favour of removal of spin, but we have to wonder how much spin can possibly be put on the weather, or how useful it might be.[how do you de-spin tornadoes and hurricanes - Ed]

For one thing, a forecast is just that: a calculated best guess about what the weather is most likely to do. For another, the forecast has absolutely no bearing on what the weather actually does. And finally, when was the last time you looked at a miserable weather forecast and decided that that kind of weather was not for you, and that you'd go with the competitor's brand instead? ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.