Wednesday, 14 April 2010
I love maps* and they're a key tool in weather forecasting, so there was only ever one possible M for me to feature today. I've sneaked in a few in already under Isobars and Jet Stream, but today I'm showing you the general overview for the UK, which gets updated every 15 minutes of so - how cool is that? Chippenham is approximately in the middle of Cardiff, London and Bournemouth if you want to get an idea of what's happening here weatherwise at the moment. Or you can have a look at what Accuweather has to say in my lefthand sidebar.
I believe many of us are fascinated by weather maps. Judging by the furore caused when the BBC changed the format used for its TV forecasts a few years ago it must be true. I still don't like them, especially when the sea sickness inducing pan around the country starts. I much prefer the maps of old, especially the stick on symbol days. That's because I (like many of us I'm sure) used wait in hope that they'd fall off when the forecaster put the new ones on the map. Which they frequently did. Another classic moment was when Francis Wilson reviewed a map with OG writ large over East Anglia and apologised I'm sorry there's no F in Fog. Richard Angwin, our local TV weather forecaster, reveals his playful nature every Friday by having a theme to the locations he chooses for his map, such as places with flower names or combe somewhere in their title. Though beware: they've been totally fictional at least once!
The weather maps I studied in geography at school were wonderful too. They had all sorts of additional official symbols denoting things like the amount of cloud cover and wind speeds. It felt like we were deciphering a special set of runes which only we held the key to unlocking.
The website where I obtained today's featured map has lots of different free ones for the UK and Europe which are available for you to use. As well as the ones I've featured so far there's maps showing temperature, humidity and even lightning strikes. Well worth a look.
How's the weather with you today?
* = I'm very excited there's a 3 part series called Maps: Power, Plunder and Persuasion starting on BBC4 on Sunday at 9pm :)
Today's featured letter has a Multitude of starring roles over at the ABC Wednesday blog.