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The great PM Weather Experiment.

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Eddie Mair | 17:24 UK time, Wednesday, 21 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. We hope to have news of developments in Friday's PM.

Comments

  • 1. At 5:47pm on 21 Oct 2009, Geoffrey Aylesford wrote:

    The new format is a vast improvement. By signalling the various well defined areas I can listen to my own (and to where I may be travelling), and gain a good insight of the day ahead without bothering about useless, distrcting information.
    Keep up the good work!

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  • 2. At 6:15pm on 21 Oct 2009, SproutGhost wrote:

    Weather Wet, wet, wet!

    But jolly good presentation. Clear and concise information with little preamble.

    Splendid stuff.

    Sprouty.

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  • 3. At 6:21pm on 21 Oct 2009, amazingquantum wrote:

    Again, I think that this is a vast improvement. I live in the north west of England and there is a tendency for forecasters (especially on tv) to start in Scotland, travel down the east coast to London, then along the south coast, visit South Wales, across to Northern Ireland and then back to south west Scotland. Thus they neatly miss us and North Wales... often!

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  • 4. At 6:21pm on 21 Oct 2009, acarpesq wrote:

    We have almost got to the stage of switching off the weather forecast, especially if the forecaster is Laura Tobin. We just count how many times she says "towards" (eg, "towards Wales")and how many times she "heads" through the afternoon. And lots of forecasters make a habit of personifying rain - eg, "rain making its way..."
    The straightforward PM forecast has saved our tempers and reduced our blood pressure. Hope it is universally adopted.

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  • 5. At 6:30pm on 21 Oct 2009, Radnor-rambler wrote:

    Please keep the new style forecast. Much easier to follow and remember -Well done!

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  • 6. At 6:47pm on 21 Oct 2009, phiilip wrote:

    Invariably forecasters refer to parts of Scotland as the "Far North". What do they mean? In what way is it different to the "normal" North? Do dragons live there? I never hear the Far South, East or West. Perhaps I can help with the geography. The most Northern Counties on the Scottish mainland are Caithness & Sutherland.

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  • 7. At 7:20pm on 21 Oct 2009, Gernsheim wrote:

    For those of us who remember the Home Service (and we don't all have bus passes) the 'new' weather seems distictly old, a return to a robust and servicable format that was sadly replaced at the whim of a (presumably) failed author or literary critic who saw the weather forecast as the ideal opportunity to experiment with narrative structure and to destabilise the hegemony of facts by decontextalising them. At last the BBC has realised that we don't want literature, we just want to know where it will be raining.

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  • 8. At 7:26pm on 21 Oct 2009, megandsadie wrote:

    so good to do away with the meaningless verbosity of the likes of Thomas Shafernacker--you just HAVE to stick with the new format

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  • 9. At 8:09pm on 21 Oct 2009, malaria01 wrote:

    At last it seems that you have returned us to where some of us remember being! I well remember weather forecasts being delivered by county or groups of counties. Not that I am particularly amnaesic, but I never could remember the weather forcast when it preceded the location - now it's a doddle. Thank you. Please keep this "new" system going, and pass it on to your colleagues who deliver forgettable meteo on the other stations.

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  • 10. At 8:32pm on 21 Oct 2009, Linda wrote:

    Fantastic improvement - clear, factual, memorable. I never knew the forecast, now I am able to discuss the weather with all & sundry with confidence and authority. Do you think you could pass this model on to the political department, in particular Mr Peston whose CBBC style presentation forces me to switch stations every time? Just a thought.

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  • 11. At 8:38pm on 21 Oct 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    I definitely have 'weather thread fatigue'. I just don't care any more... let it snow*, let it snow, let it snow.

    *For 'snow' read: sunshine, hail, rain, showers, cloudy...

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  • 12. At 9:17pm on 21 Oct 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    the likes of Thomas Shafernacker

    Is it just me that thinks of sea shanties every time I see his name? Perhaps he should be made to sing the weather:

    I heard, I heard, the weather man say,

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  • 13. At 9:24pm on 21 Oct 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    the likes of Thomas Shafernacker

    Is it just me that thinks of sea shanties every time I see his name? Perhaps he should be made to sing the weather:

    I heard, I heard, the weather man say,
    Thomas Schafernaker tu-lai-ay!
    Today will be a sunny day,
    Thomas Schafernaker tu-lai-ay!

    Chorus
    Tu-lai-ay, Oh! Tu-lai-ay!
    Thomas Schafernaker tu-lai-ay!

    Rain tomorrow, but not today,
    Thomas Schafernaker tu-lai-ay!
    Sun in parts, but mostly grey,
    Thomas Schafernaker tu-lai-ay!

    Chorus
    etc...

    ('Tis "John Kanaka" btw. AARRR!)

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  • 14. At 10:24pm on 21 Oct 2009, shppingforecastfan wrote:

    Re: 11. ..... windy,.....!

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  • 15. At 11:35pm on 21 Oct 2009, Big Sister wrote:

    Eddie, why don't you invite Mr. Lezard onto the programme and give him a good, Mair-style grilling? He doesn't seem to get it, does he?

    The experiment has shown that a consistent, clear approach makes it much easier for listeners to get the relevant information for their purposes. Even my SO has noticed the improvement - and he had absolutely no knowledge that there was an 'experiment' in progress!

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  • 16. At 09:18am on 22 Oct 2009, crow-brain wrote:

    thank you PM, weather forecast is much improved, clearer and more memorable... please can we keep the format for all forecasts now - particularly the 06.57... vitally important for deciding on the outfit for the day!

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  • 17. At 09:25am on 22 Oct 2009, chrisaddlestone wrote:

    The forecast is much much better! However, I do wish that the expected wind DIRECTION as well as strength should be included. The adoption of a standard order for the various regions to be dealt with, is far more satisfying. I would also point out that that it helps no end, if the presenter speaks clearly, and does not 'gabble' as one notorious lady.

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  • 18. At 09:25am on 22 Oct 2009, Sid wrote:

    Giulio - genius!

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  • 19. At 10:34am on 22 Oct 2009, noblenitram wrote:

    I agree with chrisaddlestone. The wind strength and direction is very useful for cyclists, walkers and small craft sailors on inshore waters. It just needs to be in the form: 'light south westerly' or 'strong south easterly'. Otherwise very good effort.

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  • 20. At 11:29am on 22 Oct 2009, mittfh wrote:

    Yes, yes, yes!

    But enough of the shampoo [1], please keep this new weather format. It's much clearer and easier to follow than the 'traditional' forecast, and by tying the expected temperatures to particular locations, also ties in with the TV version.

    [1]Mercifully, Clairol have now ditched that particular campaign.

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  • 21. At 11:37am on 22 Oct 2009, Tango4C wrote:

    Wonderful - no mention of 'wet weather gear' or other such inanities. Please extend this format to all weather forecasts. Ta

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  • 22. At 12:08pm on 22 Oct 2009, oldpops wrote:

    Always listen to PM on my drive home from the office and must compliment you on the new format for the weather which is clear, concise and a massive move forwards (or is it backwards). Always listen to the Today Programme on my drive in to the office who invariably miss out Wales altogether from their forecast so please please please persuade them to adopt the new format.

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  • 23. At 12:15pm on 22 Oct 2009, greysuperweasel wrote:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for the new format. We had almost decided that we were suffering from early onset dementia, but now find that the forecast is actually memorable.
    But please don't let the forecasters return to the habit of missing out the North West altogether - we might not be fashionable up here, but we do have lots of weather. We just hope that the relocation of the BBC to Manchester might remind the Met office that it can't always be London-centric....

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  • 24. At 12:31pm on 22 Oct 2009, StratoNimbus wrote:

    I much prefer the new sytle weather forecast, it's a big improvement. It's much easier to identify the weather for my own area. Some people have complained about having to refer to the map, but the majority of people will know which area they are in without having to look. And you only need to look once to confirm which area you fall in to. To be effective though, the new style does have to be followed by all the Weather Presenters.

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  • 25. At 1:23pm on 22 Oct 2009, Forthwrite wrote:

    Map: But not how the weather works. 'Eastern' Scotland contains the v. mild Moray Firth, the wild summits of the Cairngorms, and the chill North Sea coast.
    Normal idiom, by the way, is 'the East of Scotland'. And, please take note, there is NO SUCH PLACE as HIGHLAND.
    Unless the presenter can speak concisely and grammatically, who would trouble to listen? The simple forecast immediately before 10pm would be the best template: written, edited and spoken with authority. Only then can we escape the horrors of wonky prepositions, garbled tech-speak and fake chuminess, delivered in estuarine (see South East - that's England, I assume).

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  • 26. At 1:29pm on 22 Oct 2009, theotherdaughter wrote:

    Like the format - two requests - with others I would like wind speed and direction, and I would find it easier to follow still if - in true shipping forecast style it went in a clockwise direction. Then it might be close to perfect.

    tod

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  • 27. At 12:49pm on 31 Oct 2009, kathymallam wrote:

    The new style weather forecast is great - it actually tells you what is likely to happen in your area instead of wandering aimlessly around the country. I do a lot of outdoor activities, and it helps me plan ahead. Please keep it up and spread it to other times.

    Kathy

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