When the Beeb announced that they were ditching their classic symbols and going for a “realistic” “three-dimensional” forecast I complained about it on my blog. I had images of Scottish TV’s truly awful “flythrough” weather forecast, or the ones on Sky News where you need a magnifying glass to see if it’s raining.
However, the bits and pieces of it that I’ve seen look very clear. You can see precisely where the clouds are, and exactly where the rain will fall. This could be the end of “weather blindness”, where people don’t know what the weather’s going to be like because their town falls in between two different symbols.
Incidentally, the ones on BBCi (which have already been updated with those brown maps, so presumably won’t be changing) are terrible. Before the change symbols were quite evenly spread across Scotland. Now they only show symbols for the same towns and cities — with massive gaps in between. I swear by BBCi’s forecasts for when I’m going to Edinburgh. If I lived in one of those gaps it would be a very different matter.
The style of the new television forecasts is very contemporary though. It does look a bit weird with the map being brown. A step backwards from the photo-realistic maps that we’ve become used to. Apparently it makes the clouds in the forecast clearer though. Another problem I already have is that for a UK-wide forecast, the angle of the map has the south of Britain appearing much nearer the ‘camera’ (as opposed to the more neutral angle — directly above the British Isles — that we’re all used to). It is almost impossible to see what the weather is like where I live, and I’m not even that far north.
Just wait until you see Points of View next week though — masses of 75-year-olds with nothing better to do complaining about the change just because they can’t take the change. Mind you, I’ll have to reserve judgement until I’ve seen a full weather forecast on Monday.