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The great PM Weather Experiment.

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Eddie Mair | 17:40 UK time, Tuesday, 20 October 2009

pmweather.JPG...has caused quite a stir. In the Daily Mail, The Times (here and here), in The Daily Telegraph, and The Independent.

There's more information on the map you can see, at the BBC Weather Centre.

Most of all, we want to hear from YOU. This is an experiment, and it's the views of listeners which will help shape what happens next. Please tell us what you think by clicking on Comments.


  • 1. At 6:01pm on 20 Oct 2009, poshstellac wrote:

    please help! I can't tell the difference between the weather broadcasts - it still tells me it's going to rain or be sunny. What's the big change?

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  • 2. At 6:05pm on 20 Oct 2009, NattyBumppo wrote:

    I thought the format of tonights weather forecast at around 17.58 on Radio4 was perfect. well done. More of the same please.

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  • 3. At 6:06pm on 20 Oct 2009, pmmiller wrote:

    I like the new weather forecast very much: I know when to listen for my local forecast and it seems much clearer.

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  • 4. At 6:24pm on 20 Oct 2009, PeaEmma wrote:

    A few days ago I heard the weather forcast & thought how clear it was. I actually remembered it! Today I cottoned on the fact of the new format. Please keep it. It's so much better!!!!!!

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  • 5. At 7:22pm on 20 Oct 2009, drmontagu wrote:

    We like the use of the consistent areas.

    Please could you add in the wind direction and strength, but adding the direction is crucial. We've just been away out of internet contact, and found that radio forecasts without a wind direction are not very useful when planning outdoor activities.

    Thank you.

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  • 6. At 7:31pm on 20 Oct 2009, SproutGhost wrote:

    It's looking good!
    Once yer lug holes tune in it is easy peasy!
    sadly, still grim up North. But Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day!


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  • 7. At 7:32pm on 20 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Please give up the Fahrenheit. No-one will learn Celsius otherwise. Got quite distracted by it (irritated by it) and missed the weather in NI.

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  • 8. At 7:45pm on 20 Oct 2009, rickyadams01 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 7:46pm on 20 Oct 2009, rickyadams01 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 10. At 7:58pm on 20 Oct 2009, Blogarooney wrote:

    The weather forecast today was spot on. I listened all the way through. Listened to the NE; first on today (for Sheffield) and still concentrated when he got round to the Midlands at the end just in case the weather there applied to Sheffield too. Absolutely perfick! More BBC more....

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  • 11. At 7:59pm on 20 Oct 2009, Tony Perridge wrote:

    I think that the new weather forecast is much better than previously. The only thing lacking is that the forecaster does not give the wind direction and this is impotant to cyclists, sailers and lots of other outdoor sports enthusiasts.

    Incidently, the one-sentence forecasts given by presenters on the Today programme are so ridiculous that they are insulting. Tell them to stick to browbeating politicians.

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  • 12. At 8:03pm on 20 Oct 2009, Hawk wrote:

    Loved the weather forecast today, absolutely grabbed my attention, was short and to the point. "Wet and windy in the west, drier in the east". Brilliant! What more could you want from a weather forecast. Oh, and it was on the Today programme at 7:35am today. The other forecasts are sadly, still not doing it for me. :(

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  • 13. At 8:13pm on 20 Oct 2009, handygrandad wrote:

    Am I the only PM/BBC listener who feels like I am being patronised. I am repeatedly being invited to provide "feedback" on the most obvious and overdue improvements to the presentation of the weather forecast. Only a complete idiot would have failed to notice how much faster forecasters were being expected to talk compared to any other item on Radio 4. Add this to some executive's brilliant idea for forecasters to vary their delivery, "to make it "More entertaining?" and the whole thing looses it's purpose.
    Yes, I am delighted that who ever has been overseeing this awful deterioration has come to his or her senses ... but peeee..lease do not insult me by asking for comments ... as though somehow, the improvements are a brilliant and innovative idea. The misguided person who allowed this deterioration in standards should be fired ... not be seeking approval and praise via "feedback".
    Oh, and while we're on the subject ... isn't it about time you dropped the schoolboy joke "Up Shares Down Shares", and the now, boring musical accompianiment. Or maybe you are wating for the same BBC executive to propose that you drop it (as part of another innovative change) .... and then we can all be invited to comment on this wonderful idea on the blog.

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  • 14. At 8:30pm on 20 Oct 2009, mattw00d wrote:

    I couldn't tell a whole load of difference, although it did have a shipping forecast feel to it, but I probably only thought that becasue I already knew it was based on that. yes, perhaps an improvement... can't get otherwise too excited

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  • 15. At 8:37pm on 20 Oct 2009, needsanewnickname wrote:

    This evening's was spot on, I thought.

    I like the wind speed/direction idea; would this add too much on to the time allotted?

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  • 16. At 8:39pm on 20 Oct 2009, JLNCX4 wrote:

    Commented earlier that the forcast is read at 100 miles per hour and then spare time filled with trails (but my comment just disappeared somewhere - I'll try again}
    Could the forecast please be read a little slower with more details of fronts/local wind speeds etc. I live near the east coast and the weather is not usually much like that of 'Eastern England'or even 'East Anglia' which sometimes still gets a mention.

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  • 17. At 8:44pm on 20 Oct 2009, JLNCX4 wrote:

    Another one's disappeared - I give up!

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  • 18. At 9:58pm on 20 Oct 2009, Geoffrey Aylesford wrote:

    Quite brilliant, the first time in years that the forecast has been capable of being understood.
    Ignore the ones who say they can't see the map, unless they are like us and on the borders of a couple of areas they should know where they live!
    Carry on, well done!

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  • 19. At 10:40pm on 20 Oct 2009, jas wrote:

    I agree very much with handygrandad at No 13. Wind speed and direction would be useful. Obviously the speed would be in miles-per-hour as this is what 99.9% of people understand and therefore need. I have campaigned for the shipping forecast style for years, and a mathematician could probably easily PROVE that it was better! And yes, the silly "up shares..."/music has had its day. Please also stop going on illiterately about "the numbers" - I doubt if you would be tempted to say "it's five thirty-two, and here's Charlotte with the words". Finally, please run an English course that introduces the words "is", "has", "would" and "will" to your speakers, as they seem to be unknown now in the BBC.

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  • 20. At 00:14am on 21 Oct 2009, shppingforecastfan wrote:

    Agree with previous comments about wind direction and speed.
    A desire for this to be included has been mentioned a number of times before but I don't think it has yet been incorporated into the 'experiment', despite a low pressure system currently bearing down on us. 'Light winds', 'breezy', 'windy' are all very well but they just seem to inform that your hair (or hat or umbrella etc) may need adjusting when you next get inside ... Maybe the wind direction may vary for some regions depending on where they are in relation to the front at any particular time. But just how windy is windy?
    Otherwise, keep up the good work.

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  • 21. At 07:59am on 21 Oct 2009, HelenDilys wrote:

    The new weather forecast is a huge improvement. It's best when the presenter leaves a slight pause between regions as I then listen out to check whether we've reached my area yet.

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  • 22. At 08:32am on 21 Oct 2009, Thunderbird wrote:

    Can't wait for you to stop keep going on about it !

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  • 23. At 08:42am on 21 Oct 2009, OlderListener wrote:

    The improved weather forecast can be made even better by:
    1. Do not include any reference to temperatures in degrees F
    2. Only give rainfall in mm, do not use imperial units
    3. Snowfall give that in cm
    4. Air pressure please give this in hectopascals
    (I know 1 millibar = 1 hPa)
    The correct unit to use is the hectopascal
    5. For wind speed, please start giving this in km/h, phase out the use of wind speed in miles per hour.

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  • 24. At 09:48am on 21 Oct 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    Well, I hate to break the consensus, but I've listened for a couple of weeks now and it's still all going past me in a blur, so perhaps it's time to give it up. It might not be so bad if the new formula was being applied consistently, but it just isn't happening.

    For me, the gold standard remains the forecast before the 7am news on the Today programme and that is the formula which should be applied across the network.

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  • 25. At 09:53am on 21 Oct 2009, AlisonForster wrote:

    A big improvement but last night the forecasters reverted to light comments on the weather of the day at the start of the forecast which they should desist, you don't get that on the shipping forecast. I think you should continue to refine. I agree with only using temperature in degrees C. Wind speed in mph and direction would help.
    Well done to the lady who brought this up, I thought I was the only one who couldn't remember the forecast, and to pm for initiating the change.
    Love the programme and upshares music

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  • 26. At 10:00am on 21 Oct 2009, Thunderbird wrote:


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  • 27. At 10:26am on 21 Oct 2009, oldeveringham wrote:

    The new, much improved, weather forecast appears to be very similar to the ones I remember in the 70's and 8o's: i.e it starts at the bottom and works up to end with Scotland. Recently the forecast had been getting fanciful and uninformative. Please could you include wind direction as it helps me work out what might be coming next.

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  • 28. At 10:54am on 21 Oct 2009, Mr Chris Rock wrote:

    The weather map is great - go ahead and continue with it! As for newspaper comments... Well, it's typical of the Daily Mail to criticise anything done by the BBC (but they had better not go too far: "You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone."), And for the Independent - which should know better - to suggest that weather forecasts are inaccurate: well, that's ridiculous. Of ciurse they aren't ALWAYS right; but in my recent experience, they generally are.

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  • 29. At 11:36am on 21 Oct 2009, edwardvdp wrote:

    Weather forecast - it's better without inane comments about temperatures "struggling" (bless them), "best temperatures", sun being good and rain being bad etc. Haven't these supposed meteorological experts heard of climate change? Of the millions of people suffering drought who would think rain was very good indeed?

    Is it because everyone in broadcasting thinks they're in or aspires to be in Hollywood / showbiz? So they can't be straightforward even with the weather, it has to have personality, jokes etc. No, it's a complicated subject so just make it as simple and direct as possible (good model, the shipping forecast). Whenever someone says "temperatures no better than 16C today, I'm afraid" it reminds me of Fawlty Towers: "It's Torquay, madam. What did you expect? Herds of wildebeest?"

    Please just try to be a bit grown-up on R4 news programmes and don't show off (especially Eddie) with silly music (deplorable Upshares etc). It's serious stuff to many. Still a lot of people like your facetious style,Eddie,or so the BBC tell me, so maybe I and millions like me are the silly ones.

    PS Please ask Peter Gibbs ("abominable thoman") about his strange pronunciation of "th" sound in "though" and "although". But as a quirky comedy feature, perhaps he could extend it into "this" and "that" and all other words which normally have the voiced ("the")sound.

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  • 30. At 12:26pm on 21 Oct 2009, Mr Chris Rock wrote:

    (29) Accusing Eddie Mair of facetiousness is way off the mark - wry would be a better description, and that is to be encouraged. Oh! And as edwardvdp is obviously a bit of a pedant, he might like to note that facetious is one of the very few English words that contains a, e, i, o & u in the order that they appear in the alphabet. If anyone can tell me why that is significant...

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  • 31. At 1:04pm on 21 Oct 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    I am somewhat in agreement with Edwardvdp. Hearing that some cloud was losing its identity really left me wondering. But then, I oppose Identity Cards.

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  • 32. At 1:15pm on 21 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Westkentview - I wonder if Eddie is abstemious?

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  • 33. At 1:24pm on 21 Oct 2009, Magubane1 wrote:

    I like the new weather format, living in the Pennines one never knows what the weather is going to be and the fashion or roaming around the country in a differnet format every time yuo have a different broadcast is most annoying and unhelpful

    Keep it up Eddie,

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  • 34. At 1:33pm on 21 Oct 2009, Gillianian wrote:

    Sid (32) Well he's certainly placentious ;o)

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  • 35. At 2:02pm on 21 Oct 2009, Poverty wrote:

    Another forecast that mentions all the areas by name. Excellent. 9/10 fo this one.
    All we need now (as mentioned by other contributors) is a note of the wind speed and direction. I hope that you keep to this standard.

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  • 36. At 09:14am on 28 Aug 2010, morningdew wrote:

    My comment is about our weather forcast, Why is it that the weather forcast is different on other channels when the met office is the provider of this information, being a smallholder the weather forcast is the difference between feeding my stock or not with fodder grown on my land. time and time again this weather forcast is wrong with all the technology, this should be clearer than it is, and wales often, is just past over on the maps. please can more accuracy be strived for. I've never heard so many people complain about this issue than this year

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