1985: "Meteorologist"

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YTPrenewed
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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby YTPrenewed » Sat Apr 28, 2018 8:40 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:UK weather presenters have tended to be dedicated Met Office employees, at least historically upon the BBC (TV and radio set pieces).

That... kind of feels like it's going too far in the other direction. I'd rather just give the shy ones their Met Office jobs so the attention-craving ones can focus on broadcasting. You can always fire them if they stray too far from the facts; there's a whole crop of graduates with a background in this stuff.

Shallow as the west's weather broadcasting is, it's not necessarily shallow in the same ways you'd think. "Good looks and charm" are, to say it mathematician-style... "neither necessary nor sufficient." They weren't enough for me, even with several weather-related physics courses under my belt on top of that. They hired some of my classmates to work in forecast offices at the studio (instead of, you know, leaving forecasting to the public sector that is accountable to the voters) and though they got some air time, they didn't get anywhere near as much airtime as the old people with journalism backgrounds instead of ones in meteorology. Guess viewers prefer "looks wise" over "looks cute and actually IS wise" after all, because I seriously doubt there's any shortage of cute young journalism majors clamoring for those jobs if they actually wanted them. (Though frankly, they shouldn't. First priority should be for them to know what they're talking about; how to talk about it depends on the channel.)

Still, you wouldn't think it, to look at the irrationality of almost everyone who's ever downplayed the role of "good looks and charm."

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Soupspoon
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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Soupspoon » Sat Apr 28, 2018 10:22 pm UTC

SFAIUI, it's just those who applied to extend their in-house positions (they all being certified chart-making and graph-analysing professionals, but not all the chart-makers and graph-analysers that worked there) that got interviewed, some screen-tested and the best of the willing (and able) who got to predict GOF, sunshine at night and hurricanes not happening. (Three things that Brits of certain ages will probably all know about!)


Though some of our 'weathergirls' have certainly been pleasing to the eye (something the male contingent has both averted and down-played in their own presences, I think 'safely quirky' is the typical approach) they'll have brains behind them.

(Not always full weather-brained prior careers, it seems, and the "always have worked directly for the Met Office" has turned to be wrong for the several people checked, though true for various others. It seems mostly the younger/newer and non-BBC presenters might have gone via general broadcasting towards weather broadcasting vs. the ones that travelled fiirst via meterology to the same end.)

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby YTPrenewed » Tue May 01, 2018 11:23 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:SFAIUI

...?

Neither Google nor Urban Dictionary turn up anything.

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Soupspoon
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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Soupspoon » Tue May 01, 2018 11:53 pm UTC

So Far As I Understand It.

(I'm not entirely sure I didn't just typo the A of "As far as" into an S, though as "So far as…" roughly serves the same meaning and is something I might say in full, it's probably what I was thinking when I abbrv'd it. Interestingly, if I'd have used "As Far As I…" it seems that you'd have found it easily (if you didn't know already). And the related SFAIK seems to be as currently discoverable as the AFAIK pop-standard. Maybe my seemingly peculiar version just fell out of favour before the Web started cataloguing these things and Google started cataloguing Usenet. I just had a nice googling diversion, though. Thanks for asking. HTH, HAND! (<- used with the original and non-sarcastic meaning in mind))

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby GlassHouses » Wed May 02, 2018 6:09 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:who got to predict GOF, sunshine at night and hurricanes not happening.

"GOF"?

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 02, 2018 6:20 pm UTC

GlassHouses wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:who got to predict GOF, sunshine at night and hurricanes not happening.

"GOF"?

http://www.tvcream.co.uk/bric-a-brac/a- ... n-the-bbc/

Srettel eht esrever: tnih!

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby GlassHouses » Wed May 02, 2018 6:55 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:
GlassHouses wrote:
Soupspoon wrote:who got to predict GOF, sunshine at night and hurricanes not happening.

"GOF"?

http://www.tvcream.co.uk/bric-a-brac/a- ... n-the-bbc/

Srettel eht esrever: tnih!

Ah, I see. :)

I don't remember that kind of, um, interactive weather map on Dutch tv back then. The maps were definitely put together by hand, but not altered live on air; I think they were added to the presenter's video feed using blue screen or some other analog sleight-of-hand. Which meant that the presenter couldn't actually see the maps they were describing, which caused their hand gestures to be rather vague... not a big deal with a country as small as the Netherlands, but odd nonetheless, and of course it would be even more amusing when they popped up the maps in the wrong order.

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 02, 2018 7:49 pm UTC

Chromakey was the next development, and I think continues at full strength to this day (if they haven't perfected a live display whose refresh rate works well with the camera-scanning), but this was the classic era.

I think they had three or four 'prepared' maps with magnetic symbols on (maybe at least one marked up with synoptic isobars, warm, cold and occluded fronts) in the studio, with a camera on each (or two cameras, 'leapfrogging'?) the presenter would be in front of the first map, describe things, attach and remove elements (or parts of elements, like the sun-behind-the-cloud part of the sunny-spells symbol that lasted even well into the copycat digital image period) to show any important transitions they could accommodate, then they'd walk off screen-right and *camera POV changes* arrive from screen-left in front of the next prepped map, perhaps set up for the next day. Rinse and repeat for the whole broadcast, occasionally with problems as described when carelessly set up (or gravitation inconveniently triumphs over magnetism.

This was translated into the "powerpointy" version, where symbolically identical information was 'clicked' through with a hand-switch as the presenter waved hands in the rough (hopefully!) direction of where East Anglia or Wales were, according to what the current verbal exposition was about. Moving displays, playbacks of composite cloud-cover imagery, and isobars shown in their projected (or, in review, recorded) motions quickly became a reality and they could even make the 'sea' around the image depict waves of an intensity and direction suited to the forecast.

And then they changed to the 'oblique view' as discussed in that prior link. Apparently some people became seasick (airsick) as the 'camera' for the map panned-and-scanned across the map to bring a more detailed pseudo-3D (and somewhat topological) view of various extremities and mid-regons of the UK (sometimes down to the track of a UK tornado), or occasionally even zoomed over to illustrate the latest Floridian hurricane or SE Asian typhoon, when the News became weather-dominated and the Weather had additiinal news-value.

Which has evolved almost seamlessly into the current system, which is a whole lot more complex than how it used to be, even in the very early 'digital' era.



(I do hope I'm not boring you!)

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby GlassHouses » Wed May 02, 2018 8:20 pm UTC

Soupspoon wrote:(I do hope I'm not boring you!)

Not at all!

I was able to watch BBC TV in the Netherlands only between when it first became available on cable in my area, in the mid-'80s, and when I moved to America, less than 15 years later, so I have a rather timeless memory of what BBC weather forecasts were like. I greatly enjoyed Michael Fish displaying the rich variety of terms for precipitation the English language has to offer, and doing so with infectious (if understated, because British) enthusiasm.

N.B. I'm not mocking British weather. It's not like the weather is any better in the Netherlands! But when it comes to describing the weather, English beats Dutch hands down.

Soupspoon wrote:the very early 'digital' era.

What is "green" weather, though? I didn't know that one. :)

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Soupspoon
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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Soupspoon » Wed May 02, 2018 9:29 pm UTC

I also wondered that. Part of the reason I chose that particular image of the page, in fact. (Probably like GOF, but more distinctly hued.)

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Old Bruce » Wed May 02, 2018 9:36 pm UTC

Bob Fortune used to use a chalkboard. Frequently the chalk would break. I am not old but I am. [wistful-sigh emoticon]

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby orthogon » Thu May 03, 2018 7:20 am UTC

I have a memory of one windy day during the stick-on era when the presenter exclaimed "I've run out of isobars!". I can't believe that she was actually updating isobars on-air and exhausted her supply, which is how I've remembered it. Possibly she was saying she'd run out whilst preparing the map earlier.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby SuicideJunkie » Tue May 08, 2018 6:18 pm UTC

da Doctah wrote:I used to live in Seattle. "x% chance of rain" where x>10 means "it's raining right now, and the individual drops are the size of canned hams".

Seattle percentages are simply the liquid-H2O by volume content of the atmosphere, I believe.

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Soupspoon » Fri May 25, 2018 10:01 pm UTC

Whether it became influenced by fellow xkcdians pestering them, or not, I note (and am still in the middle of listening to) the explanation that heads up BBC's "More Or Less" programme that discusses this problem. (Podcast versionand bandwidth-saving podcast version, if you prefer or need them.)

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Re: 1985: "Meteorologist"

Postby Murgatroyd » Mon May 28, 2018 3:48 am UTC

I once lived in a place where I empirically determined that when the forecast said "50% chance of rain", it actually meant "the rain will get halfway to the ground before evaporating."


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