What is a weather forecast for? Weather information or impacts of the weather?

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Julian Mayes

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Jan 19, 2021, 8:05:02 AM1/19/21
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I've been gritting my teeth a little for the past 24 hours when watching TV forecasts. We have a MO amber warning highlighting the area most at risk of flooding - N England and into the NE Midlands all the way down to Northampton.  No highlighting of Wales. 

Let me say clearly - I'm in favour of forecasts talking about impacts but the weather has to be mentioned first. 

In forecasts we've heard statements about 'the peaks and the Pennines' - I assume the former is a way of referring to the Peak District. However, model output showing rainfall accumulations often shows higher totals this week over NW Wales. Won't rivers there rise quickly - maybe the floods there are just briefer (as the rivers are flashier than in central England) and so don't count?   

Why am I bothered?   Because on the news headlines on a national radio station just now they (LBC) are referring to heavy rain in N England and the NE Midlands, just copying the area highlighted in the MO amber warning.  I accept that the severe wx warnings are partly about impacts, but somewhere down the line (i.e. in forecasts) we need to distinguish more clearly between weather distributions and the distribution of impacts.  

Julian  


Freddie

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Jan 19, 2021, 10:25:47 AM1/19/21
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I've just seen the 1:30 weather forecast on BBC News and I think the presenter handled the points you made really well - highlighting why the amber warning is where it is, and also mentioning other places that would be experiencing heavy rain (i.e. other parts of the Midlands and Wales).  He must've heard you!

jack.h...@gmail.com

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Jan 19, 2021, 10:37:30 AM1/19/21
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I take your ;point but this sort of thing annoys me much more

"In isolated spots, particularly in the northern Peak District and parts of the southern Pennines, 200mm (7.87in) could be possible."

How on earth does a possible 200 mms convert to such a precise number of decimal places in inches?  That is typical of the arts graduate journalist with minimal scientific / mathematical background and no concept of precision and approximations.

200 mms is clearly a round number so it should be converted (but why do we need inches anyway?) to a round number, ie 8 inches.

Jack

Julian Mayes

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Jan 19, 2021, 12:11:30 PM1/19/21
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Freddie,     I watched the 1.57 forecast on the BBC News Channel and thought exactly the same thing!    Yes, it made the distinction clear.    

 I wonder if an amber warning will be issued for parts of NW Wales though?  

Julian    

Julian Mayes

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Jan 19, 2021, 12:13:41 PM1/19/21
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Jack, I agree 100.00 %   

Julian  

jack.h...@gmail.com

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Jan 19, 2021, 12:53:05 PM1/19/21
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Julian: "Jack, I agree 100.00 %" 

Surely you can go to far more decimal places? :-)

Jack
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