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Changing the weather

Monday 12 October 2009, 12:56

Mark Damazer Mark Damazer

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Changes to Radio 4 weather on the PM blog

For quite some time we've been musing about the weather on Radio 4.

We know it's a very important part of the schedule and I am frequently assailed by listeners who think we don't give it enough attention, are not clear enough or are negligent about their part of the country - and more. Much more.

Last month PM and iPM tried various different ways of doing a weather forecast - and there was a great deal of audience reaction. Peter Gibbs - from the Met Office - was the man at the helm.

From today we are going to try a new way of telling the audience about the weather on PM. The key changes are:

  • Forecasters will use a new standard map of UK weather regions, so the naming of region will be consistent.
  • Cear signposting of each region before each bit of weather information.
  • The forecaster will pick out some major population centres and the narrative will normally flow from South to North (although this will change in the case of major weather disruptions elsewhere).

So - we'd like to know what you think. Respond here or on the PM blog and I will peruse your responses. It's not a vote - and we will have to decide what we think is editorially best - but I will note your applause, abuse, doubts etc. With interest.

  • The changes are previewed on the PM blog and you'll be able to hear the first of the new forecasts at 1757 this evening.
  • UPDATE: less than an hour after the first of the new bulletins the PM blog has already attracted 87 comments about it.

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    Comment number 1.

    New weather was more memorable, I'd say.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    This evening's weather forecast was very clear, the use of recognisable regional area names made it much easier to understand. The announcer's language was refreshingly relevant and factual, avoiding superfluous additional terms such as "bits and pieces", long may that continue!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    a wonderful change to the forecast formula! because of my seagoing experience I found the shipping forecast more suitable to understanding the wx forecast, now a system delineating the uk into a more defined format is most welcome; i agree with the comment that the Isle of Man seems to have SUNK!!!!!! PLEASE RAISE IT TO THE SURFACE!!!! otherwise you may incur the wrath of all the inhabitants and which includes that wonderful character -NORMAN WISDOM -; another point which I feel is very relevant, would you be so kind to look into the provision of a BRAILLE MAP FOR OUR NON SIGHTED LISTENERS! whom I'm sure hang onto every word that is uttered! Yet another point:- to interest and encourage the younger generation, why not look into supplying schools with a weather map so that teachers can highlight the subject to their charges! Remember the weather is a national conversation point with just about everyone!
    Cheers and Thanks to everyone at PM

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    I am so sorry that the new weather forecast did not live up to hoped for expectations. Sadly more long winded than ever and no mention of the night time temperatures. Please try again.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    That map looks very strange, the South East seems to have inherited an awful lot of what used to be "The Midlands" years ago, Bedfordshire and north Hertfordshire is not in the south east. Put it another way, one would never have dreamt of lumping the "Thames" shipping forecast area in with that of "Wight".

    The south east is just that, the south east of England, it's not the Midlands...


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