Wednesday, 14 April 2010

ABC of Weather: Maps


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.

10 comments:

  1. Such immediate information! Loved reading your information accompanying the map!

    Jan
    GDP

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  2. The drama of weather is always fascinating! And maps help to keep track of an overview! Great idea for M!

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  3. I love maps too, all kinds!

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  4. That is very cool map with weather temperature hmm I love to have that one ^_^

    ABC Wednesday~M

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  5. I used to collect maps, mostly from National Geographic, when I was a kid. LOVE maps.

    Yours is cool and informative.

    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

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  6. Oh, I like the old-fashioned weather maps best, too! I hate the 'floating island' ones, and yes, the quick panning across the country. All I want to know is, how's the weather going to be tomorrow? OH is the weather buff, with his own weather station!

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  7. I wish. That's why I put our Max and Minnie, and any hopeful rain on the sidebar. We have to invent our weather forecast, between hotter than Cape Town, bit like Malmesbury (ours not yours), not as hot as Clanwilliam, nor as wintry as Worcester.

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  8. Since no one has answered your post question, I will...Today in Washington State US, it was sunny, no breezes, with a high of 60F or in UK speak 15C degrees. All in all a lovely day to work in the garden and inspect the bees which is what I did.

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  9. I love maps, not especially weather maps. I just like to find really remote places and wonder what they look like and what the people are like. Now with Google Street view I can do a lot of that. But I could really get addicted to it -- very time consuming.

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  10. Hi everyone - glad you enjoyed this post.

    I didn't realise quite how timely this post was going to be: the volcanic eruption in Iceland and the subsequent closing of UK and other European airspaces has got everyone peering frantically at maps!

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