At the mercy of The Great British Weather

Wednesday 13 July 2011, 12:20

Tomasz Schafernaker Tomasz Schafernaker

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Do cows really lie down on the ground before it rains? Does a farmer in Cumbria really rely on a red sky at night?

I'm the specialist meteorological reporter on BBC One's The Great British Weather, where we put weather folklore like this to the test and demystify some of the science behind elements of the weather in this country.

The Great British Weather is a four-part show that taps into our obsession with weather, and will come live from a different location each week.

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Tomasz demonstrates how to make a rain gauge

I think our national obsession comes from the weather being so changeable and our seasons seeming to be so unpredictable.

I'm struggling to think of a country in Europe which can have a gloriously hot April but a cool and miserable June. Let's face it, our seasons seem to have gone bananas.

One of the reasons why I studied meteorology is because I wanted to understand why the atmosphere does go bananas.

Sometimes it's hard to imagine that a storm quite literally pops out of thin air.

Giving a weather forecast on the news is one thing, but explaining the physics of why things "pop out of thin air" to a live audience will be a new challenge for me.

I always believed that, in this day and age, entertainment value is almost as important as the science itself.

So, in the show, we will attempt a range of fun and bizarre experiments, some of which can be recreated at home using household items.

It's an interactive show so we're counting on you, the audience, to get involved.

We will attempt to create a snapshot of the weather across the whole country as you show us what the weather is like in your location, live on air.

We will, of course, be at the mercy of the traditional British summer, which is exactly the point of having the show live - the crazier the weather the better.

Alexander Armstrong will be hosting the show, along with Carol Kirkwood and Chris Hollins.

Other familiar faces, such as Michael Fish, Bill Giles and John Kettley, will also make guest appearances.

Tomasz Schafernaker

Tomasz Schafernaker

The impact of the weather in British history will also be discussed.

D-Day was an incredibly complex wartime operation that needed a specific combination of weather factors in order to be successful.

In fact, weather information was so vital in those days it was actually classified information, as whether or not to invade would be based almost entirely on the weather forecast.

We will also try to explain how it can rain frogs and fish, while Chris Hollins goes fishing for sharks and Carol Kirkwood attempts to see the inside of a cloud.

The first episode is live from St Ives, which is on the edge of the Gulf Stream.

It's the most southern tip of the nation and one of the first places to get blown to bits and drenched with rain, as weather systems march in off the Atlantic.

We'll also be broadcasting from the Lake District, Scotland and London. Whatever the weather, we'll be there!

Tomasz Schafernaker is the meteorological reporter for The Great British Weather.

The Great British Weather is on BBC One at 7.30pm on Wednesday, 13 July.

If you use Twitter, you can follow the show @BBCbritweather or use the hashtag #bbcgbw.

The Great British Weather team want your weather pictures - you can send them to greatbritishweather@bbc.co.uk. Please visit the show's site for terms and conditions.

Find out more about the science behind popular weather myths from Tomasz at the BBC News Magazine.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

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