When the weather is a story for news

A wave hitting the sea wall in Dawlish
Image caption Waves pound Dawlish, Devon, where a section of sea wall under the railway line collapsed, leaving the track suspended in mid-air

These activities will help you understand that the weather can be part of the news as a story itself, and not just be a forecast at the end of the bulletin.

It will also help you think where to find weather stories and provide a recap on the three Cs of news writing.

Weather stories are in the news all the time. Some are a reaction to what is happening, such as when there is flooding or if heavy snow fall closes lots of schools.

Others will be planned, such as when there a heatwave and there are stories about ice cream sales going through the roof, or when gale force winds are expected and there is news of rail closures in advance.


When the weather becomes the news

Come rain or shine, millions of people watch weather reports every day.

But sometimes, extreme weather events lead to the forecast becoming a major news story in itself.

BBC presenter Carol Kirkwood explains how the weather team and the news team come together to track significant weather events across the globe.


As a class, discuss when students were last affected by the weather. Perhaps there was flooding or snow which prevented them from going to school.

Read what the experts have written

Search BBC News for weather stories or see the Features & Analysis section on the BBC Weather index for recent stories featuring the weather in the news.

Answer these questions:

  • What? Describe the weather.
  • Where? Write down the location of the weather.
  • Who? Write down who is affected
  • When? Write down when it started and when it finished/will finish.

Cross check the W facts with another non-BBC story to ensure it is accurate.

Image caption Pupils from Hillcrest School in Birmingham reporting on the snow for BBC News School Report in 2012/13


Write your own news report about the weather

Write a story of 200 to 300 words.

Remember to use the three Cs:

  • Clear - write how you would say it and get straight to the point at the beginning
  • Concise - keep your sentences short
  • Correct - get your facts and grammar right and stay within the law

If you've got time, have a think about how you could illustrate your story with photos or maybe even interviews.

And then watch this video produced by Walbottle Campus in Newcastle for last year's School Report for some more tips.