OT: Dr Who

Ven vendersleighc at yahoo.com
Tue May 31 20:36:02 EDT 2005

Really this post is going to be all about the new
weather map, not Dr who at all.
 Minnow wrote
<but the picture 
of it in the paper looked
as if one were in a high-altitude balloon 
somewhere just in France, which
would tend to make the south of the country be 
rather disproportionately

I'm going to defend the BBC a bit here. They
actually moved the map around - or moved around
the map. Some days they started with a screen
filling Scotland and moved South for ex. They
changed it somehow now in any case.

One of  most cogent criticisms I've seen so far
is that the new maps are showing a precision that
it not matched by the accuracy of the forecast.
That is they can show us rain falling over a
precise bit of S Yorks say at a particular time
but their predicition is not in fact of a
particularly high degree of probability.

What strikes me is that the way I use the TV
weather is to combine it with my own observations
of local conditions as well as past experience of
it's accuracy to produce my own prediction of
what tomorrow's weather will be. Over a long
period of time the continual feedback of
comparing this with the actual weather (in an
intuitive not systematic way) has proved quite
satisfactory for me to predict the weather for my
needs. (My needs incidentally revolve around will
it rain/snow tomorrow, will I have to put the
greenhouse heater on and am I going to waker up
with aches and pains caused by the cold.)
Naturally I'm put about by the new system but I
expect it to get better as I get used to it. One
thing I've noticed already is that there have
been accurate breaks in rainclouds over Sheffield
-- which has long had a habit of evading
predicted rain.

What I want to know is, why did they fix 
it? the old one worked
perfectly well as far as I could ever make out>

The old one was still based on the original idea
of sticking symbols to the map and now they have
better computer graphics they wanted to use 'em I
guess. I don't suppose the Beeb just went with
the first idea some bright spark at the met
office came up with though.


The BBC has chosen to stop providing a weather 
map I can use, in other words.

Which is a good reason to object. Myself I don't
like the nasty brown colour, I miss the wind
arrows and I wish they would mark more cities cos
I'm not that good at locating Sheffield.

Norway had an interesting weather based
controversy in the fifties. Basically some word
forms became identified with conservative
elements of society and others with radicals.
This ultimately led to the dismissal of a
weatherman because he persisted in using the
conservative "sne" to refer to snow rather than
the radical "sno" (the O should have a slash
through it). This is in contrast to the Beeb
which encourages use of local dialect by
weathermen, Look North's guy*, Paul Summat or
other, delights in referring to the wind as
niddering for example



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