Why is it that the BBC weather forecast don’t colour code rainfall intensities like the Met Office do?

Why in the BBC weather forecast from Meteogroup don’t they colour code weather radar images? The short answer is I don’t know, they seem to prefer using shades of blue for some reason, to be fair that maybe how the BBC want it. Below is a screenshot from my Web Radar application which shows ‘s more or less the same weather radar image and a legend of intensities that each colour represents. You could argue that this is a perfectly acceptable way of doing things, but have a look at how they display rainfall intensity in their forecast charts.

When they display charts of NWP precipitation they rather confusingly switch back to an intensity scheme that’s not based on the same shades of blue, but one they’ve come up with, which goes from light blue, to dark blue, to lime, to green and then to red (if memory serves). This in itself is at odds with the standard intensity colours used by the UKMO, and to me is totally confusing. It wouldn’t be so bad if the Meteogroup graphics displayed a simple legend showing what intensity each colour represents, but they don’t, even though they have plenty of screen realestate to do it in.

Courtesy of the BBC

Colour coding rainfall intensity has been done and is done by the Met Office though, and the following two images (from their video forecast) show how they still use standard colours for both observed (weather radar) and forecast (NWP) intensities. Unfortunately, they too don’t think a legend is helpful to the average member of the general public, or any tourist that’s just jetted into the UK from foreign climes.

Courtesy of UKMO
Courtesy of UKMO

What’s the answer?

So what’s the answer? The answer is very simple in my opinion, Meteogroup should remove any ambiguity between observed and forecast by using the same standard colours as the Met Office do, and both of them should add an intensity legend to their charts!

Courtesy of UKMO & Me

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