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Sunshine and showers

Eurest | Being safe |  25 March 2014

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It’s time to sing happy birthday to the BBC weather forecast — it’s been 61 years since the first television weatherman appeared on a UK screen, wielding a wax crayon on a weather chart. It’s fair to say that the mechanics of forecasting has undergone a few changes over the years.

In March 1953, the first professional, on–screen meteorologists appeared. Weather charts, drawn up in the Air Ministry offices, were rolled up and taken by taxi to the BBC studios. Then, the presenter, armed with a wax crayon, would add further details as he spoke.

With the arrival of the colour television in 1967, studio technology moved up a notch. Steel wall charts were used to display magnetic rubber symbols — triangles for showers, round dots for rain and flexible snaking black lines to create isobars. But this technique was a bit haphazard (or comic — whichever way you want to look at it) as the magnetism sometimes wore off and the symbols slid to the floor live on air. 

To eliminate any weather symbols with a life of their own, the rubber magnets were abandoned in 1985 and computerised graphics were introduced to directly link to the forecast computers at the Met Office. The most recent major overhaul took place in 2005, with a new 3D image of the country; it had animated graphics based on high-end computer games. And it didn’t stop there — the design has been constantly updated since; the most recent change arrived just last month when the system started displaying the weather at a much higher resolution.

What’s striking about the development of the BBC weather forecast is its constant striving for improvement. That’s how we work at Eurest, particularly in the realm of health and safety; we’re always challenging ourselves to achieve more. 

Our health and safety record has won us awards, but we never stop striving for better; we’re always alert to new risks, immediately seeking out opportunities to mitigate them. All of our UK outlets are fully ISO compliant in Health and Safety; our priorities lie with the integrity of our food and the safety and welfare of our people and customers. So, if it’s cold and wet out there, you can have confidence that our restaurants will be a reliable and enjoyable place to eat.  

BBC News Magazine (2014) ‘Presenting a warm front: 60 years of the British weather forecast’ BBC News Magazine, 10 January 2014, [online] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-25665340 (Accessed 13 January 2014).

 

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