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Spin on BBC forecasts?


davehsug

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Posted
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent
  • Location: Hanley, Stoke-on-trent

I have been very concerned about the BBC weather forecasts this week. Following the very wet recent weather, the forecasters seem to have been continually playing down rain & the chances of rain.

On Wednesday, we were told it would be a dry day, whilst it was drizzling quite heavily outside & continued to do so for sometime. Again today, I would describe the general summary mostly dry, but a "few" showers "which might be heavy". Again, this morning it rained & then we had long lasting, heavy rain from mid-afternoon onwards (no thunder of course!).

Is it just me or have the forecasters been attempting to "spin" the forecasts towards dry weather this week?

Dave

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

I agree about today, definitely. Watching the forecast this morning, I was under the impression that it would be dull with the chance of an isolated light shower looking at the map - so I didn't take my coat to school. If I was 10 minutes later getting home I would have been drowned! And we had consistent heavy rain for a couple of hours, partially flooding some roads.

They made a howler today.

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

I remember reading a few years ago a set of guidelines for BBC forecasters, it may have been in Weather magazine,one of which was 'always look for something positive in the forecast and appear upbeat' or words to that effect

I've noticed that in any spell of adverse weather the forecasters tend to dwell on any small positive, as they perceive it, and make desperate attempts not to be the harbingers of doom and gloom even to the point of mentioning better weather 3 or 4days ahead if it's looking really poor in the immediate outlook.

Perhaps the powers that be feel the mood of the entire nation will suffer if we are told nothing but the unadulterated truth.

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Posted
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire
  • Weather Preferences: Winter: Cold & Snowy, Summer: Just not hot
  • Location: Cheddington, Buckinghamshire

Another thing that annoys me is that they are always cheerful when things are unnaturally mild in winter, but sound extremely concerned when we get something slightly seasonal (even if it is just a bit chilly). It's pathetic!

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Posted
  • Location: Morecambe
  • Location: Morecambe
Another thing that annoys me is that they are always cheerful when things are unnaturally mild in winter, but sound extremely concerned when we get something slightly seasonal (even if it is just a bit chilly). It's pathetic!

I agree but i think most of joe public would prefer it to be mild in winter however all forecasters are not like that though for example John Hammond, Rob McElwee and i think Tomasz Schafernaker is another forecaster who like cold weather so ramp it up in a way.

The forecasters get too much stick i feel just because the way they present the weather, its their forecast and its up to them imo how they want to present it.

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Posted
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire
  • Weather Preferences: Sunshine, convective precipitation, snow, thunderstorms, "episodic" months.
  • Location: Lincoln, Lincolnshire

Well, I've always maintained that there's a big difference between what the media say people want, and what people want. The media preach that everyone hates snow and thunderstorms, especially if they happen on weekends, and that sunshine doesn't matter too much as long as it stays dry and warm. In reality, it's probable that over half the population welcomes a good thunderstorm, while snow tends to be welcomed most on a weekend, and least during the week when people have to get to work. I've often suspected that the media is trying to 'educate' people to want weather types that are best for the economy.

For whatever reasons, whereas in the 1990s forecasters mostly presented unadulterated facts and used other methods to make forecasts jolly and interesting, these days they're expected to present based on the media's perception of preferred weather (as above). I say "expected" because it's clear that most forecasters do not hold those views, and I, too, think the forecasters get an undeserved amount of stick. I doubt that they get much of a choice in how they present opinion or lack of it.

Interestingly, Philip Eden has bucked the trend- back in the 1990s, for whatever reasons, he presented weather from the media's perception of good and bad (except in Weather Log), and in the 2000s has gone towards presenting unadulterated facts and using other methods to make it interesting. The MetO appear to have stuck with the unadulterated facts approach on their website.

It may well be to make the public reassured, but I've seen many forecasts condemning a spell of cold bright weather, and finishing with "hopefully mild drizzly SW'lys will come in in a few days' time", or expressing a spell of sunshine and showers as if it's going to be dull and wet, but then finishing with "hopefully dry settled weather will spread in later" sort of thing. I recall a number of occasions where I had to tell my parents it was actually going to be sunshine and showers after they'd heard about all the miserable sunshine and showers rain that was forecast. That does not reassure people if they have important stuff coming up.

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Posted
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.
  • Weather Preferences: Anything extreme
  • Location: Derbyshire Peak District. 290 mts a.s.l.

I agree with that TWS and I certainly wouldn't level any personal criticism at the BBC national forecasters, all of whom are good, and some excellent ( entirely dependent on my personal preferences in forecasting style)

Where I would point the criticism is at the system within which the forecasters have to work, and from where the edicts I mentioned above originate.

The forecasts should be a presentation of facts and probabilities, not a soothsayer for the national psyche as perceived by the media.

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Posted
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl
  • Weather Preferences: obviously snow!
  • Location: Wildwood, Stafford 104m asl
bbc weather bring back retro bbc forecasts, they were class in the 90's, now they dont even show any symbols or wind speeds, and they dont show atlantic pressure charts, they used to be great Edited by mark forster 630
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Posted
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
  • Weather Preferences: Any Extreme
  • Location: Sheffield South Yorkshire 160M Powering the Sheffield Shield
I agree with that TWS and I certainly wouldn't level any personal criticism at the BBC national forecasters, all of whom are good, and some excellent ( entirely dependent on my personal preferences in forecasting style)

Where I would point the criticism is at the system within which the forecasters have to work, and from where the edicts I mentioned above originate.

The forecasts should be a presentation of facts and probabilities, not a soothsayer for the national psyche as perceived by the media.

Well they should provide a reliable forecast and forget the dictates from above. I was going to disagree with you on the positive spin but every forecast this week by over doing the positive spin they've given a misleading forecast. The correct details are there but too much emphasis on sun when there's going to be very little or none for the majority is just plain wrong and people remember the strongly emphasised sun.

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