The BBC Weather Ball

The glorious forecast

I’m generally very quick to correct friends who envisage London as a place of frequent and torrential rain, perpetually gray skies, and a national umbrella- toting hobby. When a visiting friend asked if rain boots would be a wise thing to pack, I actually laughed.

London is all about drizzle. It’s not constant, and it’s generally just enough to turn my hair (in the absence of chemical processing) into a frizz so massive that it would be the envy of any 80’s hair band.

That said, I believe that Wednesday’s sunny forecast is really just a trick to enliven the national spirit. Planting a seed of hope of just a few sunny intervals could restore my faith that spring may someday come.

This sort of bold fibbing would be unaceptable in the US, where the weather forecast is considered a reliable indicator of the climate during the day ahead.

Such is not so in the UK, where it seems to be generally accepted that the weather forecast, much like a newspaper horoscope or the wisdom of the Psychic Friends Network is for entertainment purposes only. People dress for all possible weather outcomes. Umbrellas are carried daily, as are sunglasses, just in case.

The Ball Knows All

In fact, I’ve found that the single most indicative feature in a BBC weather report isn’t the weather map, the sunny and rainy icons, or even what the newscaster is wearing during an outdoor broadcast.

It’s the BBC weather ball!

That sphere behind the broadcaster may look like a giant bowling ball, or perhaps Earth as viewed from space, but it is neither. That ball contains the most accurate weather forecast available on BBC.

One can see that while London is clearly promised sun in the BBC five day forecast, the weather ball offers only rain and clouds.

I’ll be dressing per weather ball tomorrow, a photo supporting my hypothesis will follow.


Warning: this might end up turning into an entire thread as I embrace the local hobby of weather obsession.
Wednesday outcome: (photo on right)
Sunny through the afternoon– The Weather Ball disappoints!

I believe I may have documented the “current state” weather ball, displayed at the start of the weather report, rather than the “future state” ball, displayed at the end of the forecast.

Further analysis to follow… something about stubborness….


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s