Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No it’s the 06 UTC temperature chart!
Another moderate frost over the north of Scotland last night, which was severe over any snow cover, and there is fair bit of that around at over 200 M at the moment. The minimum temperature at Loch Glascarnoch AWS [18-06] where there is 8 cm of snow and where the Met enclosure sits alongside a small river and not in any kind of sheltered frost hollow like Braemar, got down to -9.1°C well before midnight. It may have even got as low as -12°C if the wind hadn’t picked up later in the evening to spoil the party.
What about the here and now?
Not that you would have known much about that severe frost in the graphics in last night’s BBC weather forecast at 6.27 PM. The BBC presenters continue to display the 05 or 06 UTC temperature chart as some kind of pseudo minimum chart for the whole night. Most times this is a fairly good representation, even though the lowest temperature can occur closer to 09 UTC in Scotland during winter. Last night the minimum occurred before midnight, and because Helen Willets didn’t have time to explain because she was too caught up with talking about this weekend’s forthcoming deluge across England and Wales, the chart was totally misleading. I see this more and more with the BBC presenters, they have a story theme they’ve devised, maybe how fast the jet stream, or this weekends named storm, or the amber warning for heavy rain, as they present their story they run the overnight animation sequence and their story takes centre stage, forget about the here and now, especially if the here and now has anything to do with places north of the border. Their primary job as weathercasters (a phrase I heard only this week) is to present a weather forecast for the coming night and next day, yes they are given little time to do it in, and yes things are going to get wet and windy this weekend, but please don’t forget about the here and now.
Confusing temperature charts
I’m not sure that most people equate the temperature labels with the ‘dots’ that mark the cities, but rather were the temperature label sits on the map, which if they do is doubly confusing because they are not of synch with the coloured contours they sit on. For example: Is that ‘3’ the temperature for Stirling? Or is it the temperature for Glasgow? Or could it be the temperature for Edinburgh? And why’s the temperature as high as 3 when it sits over a deep blue contour surely it should be below freezing?