Anorak News | Wendy Hurrell is the BBC weather forecaster who did something unpredictable

Wendy Hurrell is the BBC weather forecaster who did something unpredictable

by | 4th, July 2013

wendy hurrell

TV WEATHER forecasters exist to predict what is going to happen next. It’s a job that always struck me as dull.

People like talking about the weather – ‘It’s warm today’, ‘Turned out nice again’, ‘Rotten day’ etc. Knowing what it’s going to be like tomorrow or in a week only reduces such conversations when they might be enlarged by an element of surprise – ‘What will it be like tomorrow? Some say it will rain balls of ice; others say sunshine and light winds?’

Anyone whose livelihood depends on the weather won’t rely on the BBC’s report at the end of the news. The segment is mindless filler, a polite nod to the audience after the news has talked to us about death and poverty.

Ask anyone what weather report they recall, and it will be the one where the man on the telly got it wrong. The hurricane of 1987  is chiefly memorable not for the devastation and loss of life, but the surprise element bought on by Michael Fish’s forecast that there was no hurricane.

So dull is British weather that Fish was conditioned to expect the expected.

For added punch, the BBC routinely shows us pictures of weather in America, where the predictability of Hurricane Season brings hurricanes and newsworthy death and poverty.

And the entire climate change debate is a forecast of horrors, an effort by the BBC to make up for the looming mayhem in missed in 1987. Floods. Life ended. Massive waves. In short, weather will be thrilling and unpredictable. You can bet on it. It’s a sure thing. Granted, you won’t be here to see it, but you can talk about the horrors to come as if it’s fact. Because talking about the weather is an innocent pleasure.

(Not that routine is all bad. If the weather were more exciting and unpredictable, the BBC would commission Weather Live!, seven nights of scattered showers with Ben Fogle and a news reader, possibly Louise Minchin, linking between regional weather watchers stood in North Face jackets talking to primary school children and Brian Cox.)

So. Let’s thank Wendy Hurrell, who following her BBC London forecast on Monday night pulled a face like thunder. Her sunny disposition changed in a flash. She was the silver lining in a mushy grey cloud of predictable slush:

YouTube link.


Posted: 4th, July 2013 | In: TV & Radio Comment | TrackBack | Permalink