Helping to improve how the weather’s forecast, come rain or shine
Press release issued: 22 August 2011
Dark clouds and downpours have blighted many people’s summer, with the unpredictable weather being a hot topic of conversation. Now, a new study is hoping to improve how the likelihood of sunshine or showers is communicated with the public.
The weather game project, led by Liz Stephens from the University of Bristol, will run for one month and aims to be the largest and most comprehensive study into the understanding of how weather probabilities are communicated.
Liz, a PhD student in the School of Geographical Sciences, said: “It’s not easy to communicate probabilities and previous studies have only been carried out on a relatively small scale. By presenting this in the format of an online game, we hope to learn how using probabilities can improve the presentation of weather forecasts.”
Players of the game will help Brad, an ice cream man, to run his business by deciding on where and when he should sell his ice cream depending on the weather over a four week period.
The weather game uses a number of ways of presenting probabilistic forecasts. This will give important feedback and information from the public about the most effective ways of presenting weather forecasts.
Ken Mylne, Met Office Ensemble Forecasting Manager, said: “We are constantly looking at ways to improve the way we communicate our forecasts to the public. By playing this game participants will help us to understand the best way of communicating probability in weather forecasts.”
The weather game takes approximately five minutes to complete and is available from www.metoffice.gov.uk/weather/weather-game.