Feeds

UK Met Office to simplify weather forecasts

How are they going to do that?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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? ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.