BBC Weather Watchers Frequently Asked Questions

17/08/18

Welcome to BBC Weather Watchers. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions that have reached us since we launched in November 2015.

Sun shining through the leaves of a tree. Blue sky with white fluffy clouds. Yellow leaves on the ground
Image caption Beautiful autumn day in Fulford York caught by Kerrie on 14 October 2015.

WHO CAN JOIN

Can children join Weather Watchers?

At the moment, Weather Watchers is only open to people who are 16 or older. Parents or teachers are welcome to involve children in their care in the club, but someone who's 16 or older will need to set up and oversee the account.

Can my weather group join Weather Watchers?

Yes, provided it's a non-commercial weather group.

Can I sign up on behalf of my business?

No. Weather Watchers is for private individuals and amateur weather groups; commercial enterprises, businesses, charities or organisations are not allowed to join.

GETTING STARTED

Is there an app?

We don't currently have plans to create an app. Weather Watchers is a responsive website so should work on phones and tablets. Simply save the URL to your homescreen (as a bookmark) for easy access. Refer to your device's instructions for help.

How do I join Weather Watchers?

Go to www.bbc.co.uk/weatherwatchers.

If you have a BBC account (e.g. if you use BBC iPlayer), simply sign in using your existing credentials to get started as a Weather Watcher; if you don't, then you'll be asked to create a BBC account.

When you create a BBC account, we'll send you an email to verify your email address. You will need to verify your email address before you get started. We suggest you do this there and then, as some users have experienced problems if they've left it for a while.

Once you've signed in to your BBC account via www.bbc.co.uk/weatherwatchers, you'll be asked to set your Weather Watchers nickname and choose a 'home location'. This is how you will be described on the Weather Watchers site and across the BBC if we use your photos or observations. For example, 'this report is from Sarah in Windlesham'.

When choosing your nickname, please keep it clean - we won't accept any profanities or abusive terms.

I can't sign in to Weather Watchers via my BBC account. What should I do?

If you're having trouble signing in to your BBC account, see help signing in.

If you still can't sign in, you can contact the BBC account team directly by visiting the Need help? page, clicking the Still need more help? link and filling out the contact form.

If you've signed in to your BBC account successfully but are struggling to get started with Weather Watchers, please ensure that you have verified your email address. For more information, see I'm having problems verifying my email address.

What is my 'home location' and does it need to refer to my actual home?

Your home location is the place where you will generally report the weather from. It doesn't necessarily need to be your actual home; it's simply the place from which you'll report most often.

Can I post a report from an alternative location, e.g. if I've been elsewhere during the day?

Yes. When you create a weather report, you can choose to post it from your home location (this is the default behaviour) or, if you've been elsewhere during the day, you should select the nearest available town or city to this alternative location.

To specify an alternative location, click into the location search bar from the 'create report' screen.

From here, you can: a) search for a town or city, or b) use the geolocate (find me) function.

If you choose the geolocate option (the icon looks like a little wheel), your device will use your GPS function to find the nearest place in our database. You will therefore need to ensure you have 'Location Services' enabled within your device's settings.

Remember that you should always specify the time and date that you observed the weather conditions recorded in your report. If this was in the past, please adjust the time and date at the top of the 'create report' screen.

Can I post from outside the UK?

No. Weather Watchers covers the UK only.

CREATING A REPORT

How do I create a report / post a photo?

Once you've set up your Weather Watchers profile, click on the 'Create a report' button from the Weather Watchers homepage to begin recording your weather observations.

From the 'create report' screen, confirm your location and time of your weather observation. You should then choose a weather symbol that best describes the weather conditions.

For more advanced users with data gathering equipment, you can also record the temperature, rainfall amount, pressure, wind speed and humidity. There's also a 'notes' box, which is for your reference only; other Weather Watchers won't see what's written here.

If you like, upload a photo which clearly illustrates the weather conditions you're reporting.

You can then publish your report and, if you wish, share it with friends via social media. There's guidance on how to do this if you're not sure.

Can I upload information automatically from my weather station?

Not at the moment, but we know that lots of you are keen to do this.

Is there a limit on the number of reports I can post per day?

There is no limit to the number of reports that you can post. However, if you're uploading photos, we ask that you're selective and choose only your best ones.

If you post more than several photos a day, you may crowd out other Weather Watchers. The 'Photos near you' feature, for example, may not show photos from other users in your area.

I've made a mistake. Can I edit or delete my report?

You cannot currently edit a report, but you can delete it and start again. You can do this by opening the report (by clicking on it from the Weather Watchers homepage or your Weather Watchers Reports page) and clicking on the 'Delete this report' link that appears underneath.

I've filled out my report but it won't post. The button that says 'Post this report' is grey and won't let me click on it. Why?

When creating your report, make sure that you have clicked on a weather symbol to select it; if no weather symbol is selected, the 'Post this report' button will appear grey. Once you've selected a weather symbol, the button will change colour and you can continue posting your report.

MANAGING YOUR ACCOUNT

Can I change my nickname and/or home location?

Yes. You can change your Weather Watchers nickname and/or home location by visiting your Weather Watchers Settings page: https://www.bbc.co.uk/weatherwatchers/settings/.

How do I update my email address?

To update the email address associated with your BBC account, see How do I update my email address?

How do I change my password?

To update your BBC account password, see How do I change my password?

COMMON QUERIES

Why is there a delay in my nickname appearing? My nickname says 'Nickname pending approval'. Why?

Our moderation team will take a quick look at your nickname to ensure it complies with our House Rules. In the meantime, you'll see 'Nickname pending approval'. If it's fine, your nickname will appear shortly. If there's a problem, our moderation team will let you know and ask you to pick a different nickname.

If you're nickname has been 'pending approval' for a very long time, email your details to weatherwatchers@bbc.co.uk.

I cannot find my report on the map. Why?

Sometimes your report's 'pin' may not be exactly where you expect it on the map; if there are a number of reports posted within any given area, pins will 'cluster' together. If they didn't, the map would quickly become very difficult to read!

If you can't see your report on the map, check out nearby pins; your report is likely clustered with other Weather Watchers' reports.

Why do different Weather Watchers seem to be posting the same photo?

If a Weather Watcher's report doesn't include a photo, you'll see a generic, illustrative image relevant to the weather symbol they've chosen instead. This is usually a blue sky or some clouds.

USING MY INFORMATION

To learn more about how Weather Watchers collect, use and protect personal information about you, in accordance with data protection law, please check our Privacy Notice.

Why do you need my email address?

When you register with us, we ask for your email so we can validate your access to the site and for other service administration purposes. From time to time we may also contact a small number of Weather Watchers to ask if they'd like to take part in related TV or radio programmes. We may also contact you to ask further questions about your weather observations. The BBC complies with the 1998 Data Protection Act, and with the General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR).

For more information, see the BBC's guide to keeping your info safe & sound.

Will my photos and weather observations be used on the BBC?

Maybe! By signing up to BBC Weather Watchers, you give permission for us to use information in your weather reports (including photos) across the BBC. Any 'notes' you include in your report are for your records only, so we won't share or use them on air. We will only use your reports in the context of Weather Watchers or weather-related stories. You retain the copyright to photographs that you own and share with us. See below for more information on copyright.

How will I know if you use my photos on the BBC?

If your picture has been used, an 'Editor's Pick' badge should appear on it.

An 'Editor's Pick' badge has appeared on one of my reports. What does that mean?

An Editor's Pick is a Weather Watchers report that we may use on TV or online; your report may appear on one of our social media feeds (e.g. @BBCWthrWatchers on Twitter) or in a picture gallery. In some way, it's helped us to tell the story of the weather where you are, and we want you to know we appreciate it.

If your photo has been chosen as an Editor's Pick, you'll see the virtual badge appear on your report when you next visit Weather Watchers. We're afraid we can't alert you to where it's specifically been used, so keep an eye on our website, social media feeds, and TV broadcasts.

Other Weather Watchers will be able to see if they search through the reports on the map or browse via the Photos near you page. It will also appear for a time on the 'Weather Watchers bulletin' towards the bottom of the Weather Watchers homepage.

How do I protect my privacy online?

When taking weather photos, avoid identifying individual private buildings or homes. Please don't include anything that can directly identify your specific location; for example, no house names or numbers, no street names, no building names, and no descriptions of the location of your house.

When choosing your nickname, use your first name only. No surnames please.

For more information, see the BBC's guide to keeping your info safe & sound.

To learn more about how Weather Watchers collect, use and protect personal information about you, in accordance with data protection law, please check our Privacy Notice.

Red leaves on stony path
Image caption Red leaf pathway in Prestatyn, Denbighshire. Photo by Paul Pierce in October 2015.

PHOTOS

What makes a great Weather Watchers photo?

Any photos must be of places NOT of people. We're inviting you to upload your photos of the weather you're experiencing. Pictures should focus on scenery and illustrate the weather you're reporting: a beautiful sunrise, snow on a hedge, the bins blown over by the wind. We will not be able to accept any image that includes identifiable people and/or people in the foreground.

Generally, landscape photos work better on the site than portrait-style photos.

Ideally photos should be a minimum size of 1920 x 1080 pixels for us to be able to use them on the TV, but don't let that stop you uploading smaller pictures. Photos should be no larger than 10 MB (megabytes).

To use a photo, you need to have taken it yourself, or have permission from the person who took it. Breaking copyright law can result in being taken to court. For more information, see the BBC's guide to Copyright.

Obscene or otherwise inappropriate images are absolutely not acceptable and will be removed. Anyone who posts inappropriate images will have their accounts suspended and be required to leave the club. Weather Watchers can report inappropriate photos by using the 'Inappropriate photo?' link below each report.

What counts as an inappropriate photo?

Photos should be of places not identifiable people. Anything obscene, offensive or that would be considered unacceptable to be shown to a family audience on the BBC should not appear on Weather Watchers. Weather Watchers can report inappropriate photos for removal.

How do I report an inappropriate photo?

Each report with a photo features an 'Inappropriate photo?' link. Click on this if you feel the photo should not be part of the Weather Watchers site. Our moderation team will take it from there.

The photo on my report has disappeared. What's happened?

You may have uploaded a photo that doesn't comply with our house rules. Our moderators will have sent you an email explaining why it was removed, and how to submit an appropriate photo.

I've been told one of my report cards contains an inappropriate photo. What do I do?

You should have received an email explaining why the photo was removed. You're welcome to upload an alternative photo that complies with the house rules, and resubmit the report. If the moderators feel there is deliberate misuse of the site, your account may be suspended and/or you may be asked to leave Weather Watchers.

I took a photo earlier today. Can I 'backdate' my report?

Yes. When you create a report, you can adjust the time and date at the top of the 'create report' screen. You should always specify the time and date that you observed the weather conditions described in your report.

GETTING IN TOUCH

Can I leave Weather Watchers?

We'll be sad to see you go, but if you do want to leave and have your account removed, email your details to weatherwatchers@bbc.co.uk.

How can I get in touch with the Weather Watchers team?

You can reach us at weatherwatchers@bbc.co.uk if your question isn't addressed here.

Do not send photos directly to this address as they will not be considered for broadcast. If you would like to share weather pictures with the BBC, please create a Weather Watchers profile and post them via www.bbc.co.uk/weatherwatchers.