Weather App Icons Can Be Pessimistic

April 28, 2024

It was recently revealed that BBC’s weather app selects the gloomiest forecast when choosing forecast symbols for the day. MeteoGroup, the private-sector weather company that supplies forecasts for the BBC app and is now owned by DTN, confirmed that the weather symbol for the day reflects the weather conditions that are likely to have the greatest impact on people’s lives.

Previously, the Met Office supplied forecasts for the BBC’s weather app. The Met Office had a different approach, where they selected symbols by using a blend of different forecast models to give the most accurate symbol of the weather throughout the day.

Local businesses in the tourism industry are frustrated over the pessimistic forecast symbols on the app recently. The weather app may show a rain symbol for the day, even though rain may not be expected until the evening. According to the director of a tourism agency, between 10am and 3pm is the time most people are out touring, so rain in the evening would not be a huge concern for their visitors. But at a quick glance, visitors may only see the rain symbol and base their plans off of that. 

Although the BBC emphasized that the selection of the day’s weather symbol does not affect the accuracy of its forecasting, it could impact the businesses’ or public’s perception of the forecast.

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