May 16, 2005

R.I.P. Weather symbols

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4550703.stm

Weather Symbols have disappeared from BBC TV forecasts for good, causing a depression to form among fans of the traditional yellow sun and fluffy cloud.

So, new technology ushers in a new era in weather forecasting. Apparently, audience research showed that people found the symbols 'old fashioned' and 'boring'. I guess even weather forecasting has to move on with the times, but personally I have always liked the symbols, finding them clear and easy to understand, strangely comforting even if inaccurate! They have always had a slight authoritarian tone too which I have always associated, somewhat reassuringly, with the BBC.


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  1. Steven Carpenter

    Nooo!! I can't believe they've 'retired' the weather symbols. I hope we're not going to get some crappy animated stuff or a 3D map.

    16 May 2005, 11:44

  2. I think they've really shot themselves in the foot with this one. The "new look" is just so ITV of you ask me, the old magnetic symbols and their electronic sucessors were a design classic! Perhaps this new system is why the Beeb's having to sack lots of people to make their money back!

    16 May 2005, 13:35

  3. How could they?! Those symbols make for really nice "weather at a glance" type views. I bet that was a techie lead decision…

    1. we can do swoopy 3D weather now!
    2. why would we do that? The symbols are really clear and concise
    3. because we can!!!

    16 May 2005, 13:47

  4. I knew this was coming a while back, and was very worried. It's hard to tell how bad it is from the small pictures on the BBC website, and I haven't seen it for real yet. Besides the superiority of their presenters, the best thing about the Beeb's weather was the clarity and simplicity of their symbols. Now it seems we have ITV-esque animated drizzle where you have to watch the same symbol for 7 seconds to work out how strong it is, rather than the good old "One blob or two?" arrangement.

    And why is the UK a particularly nasty brown?!

    16 May 2005, 14:29

  5. Karen Mortimer

    I watched the weather this morning and it wasn't anywhere near as easy to see what the weather was doing in a specific place. The only way of telling where there was sunshine seemed to be spotting where there was a lack of cloud. Maybe, it'll grow on me but at the moment I can't help thinking that they've forgotten that simple is sometimes more effective.

    16 May 2005, 17:25

  6. Julie Moreton

    Whooooosh – just swoop in here, pan out there, wiggle about somewhere in the Atlantic, flip pver to the Med – oh sorry did you want to see that murky bit in the middle? – we'd love to show you but it seems to be covered in some brown foggy stuff – sorry – but look at this the Chanel looks fab from this angle! It's a bit like watching the news on 5 now isn't it? The camera man's gone mad!

    19 May 2005, 12:31

  7. Hannah Vickery

    It is all a bit crazy and rather murky. Apparently the Scots are pretty peeved with it all – they look smaller than ever before, with the South dwarfing the rest of the country. Hmmm, perhaps the Beeb are trying to tell us something.

    19 May 2005, 16:09

  8. Steven Carpenter

    ..and another thing; for some reason I noticed this morning that the whole country (and Europe) is a kind of murky beige; what happened to our 'green and pleasant' land?

    23 Jun 2005, 12:05

  9. Ola Thörn

    Does anyone have a URL for the symbols? I am curious, I have a greeat interest for symbols and ended up on this website when googling for "weather symbol".

    /Ola

    05 Sep 2005, 17:45


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