Outdoor Discoveries

What originally was a news section for the rest of the website soon became a place for me to write about human-powered wanderings in the countryside. Photography inspires me to get out there, mostly on foot these days, though cycling got me started. Musings on the wider context of outdoor activity complete the picture, so I hope that there is something of interest in all that you find here. Thank you for coming!

What on earth are they doing to our weather forecasts?

23rd April 2007

Any hillwalking type is bound to have an interest in the weather and I am no exception; one look down the right hand side of this page will tell you that. However, I have noticed that the practice of using a summary map with symbols dotted over it to show the day’s weather seems to be going extinct on the web. Accuweather and Weather.com don’t deal in such frivolities and now the BBC seems headed the same way as well.

In fact, today’s changes to how the weather are presented look like they will make me hardly call to the BBC weather website again. Gone are the five day summary charts (with weather symbols and temperatures) that gave you a great overview of the coming weather conditions; they helped me to plan many a weekend away. Granted that there are alternative presentations like satellite and radar charts, they don’t feel the same. I have nothing against new ways of doing things but I do like them to be user friendly and these do not feel that way; temperatures recorded in Fahrenheit mean nothing to me while Celsius (Centigrade) is the temperature scale that I readily understand.

However, there is a compelling alternative to the BBC these days and that is the organisation that supplies them with the weather data in the first place: the Met Office. Their website has improved dramatically in recent months with the provision of long range forecasting information being dramatically improved. They have also retained the charts that I like so I think that I’ll stick with them from now on with checks on Metcheck and the others.

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