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coldcomfort

TV weather forecast terminology

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Perhaps it's because I'm a bit long in the tooth, but back in the day when TV weather presenters used certain words to describe certain types of weather the words used were generally A..accurate and B..consistent.  So when Jack Scott for instance said it will feel bitterly cold and raw, do you know what? It felt bitterly cold and raw, end of!

These days it seems all words/terms are up for grabs, with the local BBC forecast this morning discribing  today as bitter, chilly, cold, rather cold and raw, all within the same 60 second output. With maxima around 7c, or close to average if you prefer, I think feeling cold in the wind pretty much covers it, but it appears the need to over sensationalise and in turn utterly confuse knows no bounds.

Clearly some will find today bitter, some will find it raw, some rather cold and others chilly...no doubt some will even find it quite pleasant. To my mind trying to be all things to all men is where this is going wrong (and getting worse), surely it's better to use temperatures and where appropriate windchill values to make the forecast and allow others to decide how it feels on a personal level.  

Discuss....

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That is my point, one persons rather cold is another persons raw, one persons bitter is another persons chilly. So rather than trying to tell people how they may or may not feel, would it not be better to just stick to the facts, or if that's too difficult then just stick to one description and not use 4 or 5 different ones in the same forecast.

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It would also help if they could get the facts right in the first place, for example confusing the term "wet" with "dry". Here's this evening's forecast at T+0:

56a3d18cc7e37_20160123MysteryRain-Foreca

and here's the radar for the same time:

56a3d1a155245_20160123MysteryRain-Actual

Some areas getting much heavier rain than forecast, others getting heavy rain where none was forecast at all. I repeat, all of these errors at T+0.

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Yes it really bugs me as well. The other day a chilly start temps 4c to 5c across the map. Considering here the average is 1.7C in the morning here it certainly isn't chilly. When the weather  girls on the beeb used to go out how many times you've got it's freezing on a Jan morning with temps not far from 7C I don't know.

 

Then the was the over playing of the Snow in the last cool spell. Confused Joe public no end you had to listen very carefully to pick out the words hill snow. Thankfully we have netweatehr guides which I use for Snow and corrected my friends who were sure heavy snow was coming.

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Definitely one of my pet hates as I am also ( easily ) old enough to remember when forecasts were almost entirely composed of carefully selected objective words and phrases rather than the current mire of subjectivity and, in many cases, downright inaccuracy.

Although this has permeated through all forecasts it is definitely worse in the local and regional forecasts on both t.v and radio, probably because the people responsible for presenting the forecasts locally and regionally have little or no meteorological training and are often general reporters who just happen to have landed the job of 'doing the weather'.

Apart from the subjectivity regarding temperature many of the presenters seem to have no idea of the difference between showers and frontal rain,  drizzle and rain, air and ground frost, convective and non convective cloud ( the number of times I've heard mention of high cloud bubbling up during the day-  aaaggghh!! ) or the effect of altitude on temperature and precipitation.

Occasionally the presenter of a radio programme will ask a weather related question after the forecast as to why this or that is happening, expecting the weather presenter to be the font of all knowledge meteorolgical. The result is usually between laughable  and cringeworthy as the weather presenter flounders hopelessly and embarrasingly because they've been taken off script.

It was never the case when real forecasters such as John Kettley, Jim Galvin, Tony Porter et al presented the forecasts direct from either Nottingham or Birmingham weather centre.

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We're fortunate enough to have Ian F as our regional forecaster/broadcaster and his forecasts are pretty top class all the time.

I think if I had to choose a least favourite presenter it would have to be Jay Wynne, often making assumptions that everyone likes mild weather when in fact the only people I know who enjoy mild weather in winter are people on here and my cousins from Brazil!

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A majority of the female forecasters and a couple of the male ones are far too emotive when describing the weather. Just cut out the subjective words and tell me what the weather's doing, and no you're not my friend. 

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Apparently it's going to be a chilly start tomorrow with temps of 5c to 6c. Sorry that's not chilly for January it's mild. 3.3C to 4.3C above the expected low for us....

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I get very confused when, particularly radio forecasters, say it will be raining in the north. What's the North? When i lived in Kent that was easy - everywhere was north! But Yorkshire? Well it's south of the UK middle point which i think is Haltwhistle. So that makes us in the south then. They really need to specify North of UK or England. "Snow on northern hills" is a classic and meaningless unless you live in the Grampians.

 

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1 minute ago, yaffle said:

I get very confused when, particularly radio forecasters, say it will be raining in the north. What's the North? When i lived in Kent that was easy - everywhere was north! But Yorkshire? Well it's south of the UK middle point which i think is Haltwhistle. So that makes us in the south then. They really need to specify North of UK or England. "Snow on northern hills" is a classic and meaningless unless you live in the Grampians.

 

If its a UK weather forecast then it means Northern UK.

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11 minutes ago, feb1991blizzard said:

If its a UK weather forecast then it means Northern UK.

True      but North York Moors (the best place for snow near me!) is in the middle of the UK. If you wanted to stretch the point it's in the south. But if the forecasters said snow on southern hills there would be a meltdown! I'm really only referring to radio forecasts as it's usually pretty plain on the maps, but see if you can see the TV presenters point to Leeds and the Pennines and say "north" when it's not even bang in the middle...

Perhaps all i'm after is a bit more clarity and consistency which is, i think, what cold comfort was asking for.

 

Well i've just wikipedia'd it and apparently the centre point is the forest of Bowland in Lancashire - so that does put NYM in the north (just)

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This terminology forecasters seem to be using more and more in Winter time more picticularly is turning cooler behind a cold front! Completely wrong usage . It will feel cold behind a cold front in Winter try working outdoors ! I even heared a Tv presenter saying a Cool front will be crossing the country. Its a cold front not a flaming cool front. Of course saying it will turn cooler behind a cold front in Summer is of course more correct , but should not be used at this time of year, indeed probably for Spring and Autumn as well.....:nonono:

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5 minutes ago, yaffle said:

True      but North York Moors (the best place for snow near me!) is in the middle of the UK. If you wanted to stretch the point it's in the south. But if the forecasters said snow on southern hills there would be a meltdown! I'm really only referring to radio forecasts as it's usually pretty plain on the maps, but see if you can see the TV presenters point to Leeds and the Pennines and say "north" when it's not even bang in the middle...

Perhaps all i'm after is a bit more clarity and consistency which is, i think, what cold comfort was asking for.

 

Well i've just wikipedia'd it and apparently the centre point is the forest of Bowland in Lancashire - so that does put NYM in the north (just)

I agree though it can be a very vague forecast though, because snow in the North can mean snow in one city or a massive frontal snow affecting most of the North. Talksport are the worst for this.

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26 minutes ago, ANYWEATHER said:

This terminology forecasters seem to be using more and more in Winter time more picticularly is turning cooler behind a cold front! Completely wrong usage . It will feel cold behind a cold front in Winter try working outdoors ! I even heared a Tv presenter saying a Cool front will be crossing the country. Its a cold front not a flaming cool front. Of course saying it will turn cooler behind a cold front in Summer is of course more correct , but should not be used at this time of year, indeed probably for Spring and Autumn as well.....:nonono:

Yep Anyweather, that drives me mad as well. Cooler is a summer phrase. Just seen the BBC World Weather presenter over here and he referred to cool and windy weather over the UK this week. No its not, as I shouted at the telly, "its cold or rather cold" ! Glad its not just me. My wife thinks  I am mad at getting upset over a little thing like that and tells me to get a life.

 C

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