BBC Weather takes forecasts into 3-D realm

MUMBAI: The Beeb is all set to introduce 3-D graphics to its weather forecasting. BBC presenter Helen Willetts will present the first international forecast using the new technology.

The BBC new-weather look with the use of the 3-D innovative technology is the first major change. BBC weather since 1985 when magnetic symbols were replaced by computer generated maps and symbols. A BBC release states that this development represents a significant advance from the first TV forecasts, which featured charts, hand-drawn using wax crayons.

The new system will also feature virtual reality technology and the forecasts will use constantly updated weather data provided by the UK-based meteorological office.

BBC Weather Centre main presenter Helen Young says: "The new system will introduce more realism, movement and clarity to the forecasts. For the first time viewers will be able to see the sun shine and the rain fall on the weather map. Complex weather situations will be much clearer for the audience.

"The use of 3-D graphics means we can zoom into areas where weather conditions are bad, or particularly interesting, and provide a much closer view."

BBC Weather project director centre Colin Tregear says, ?All the hallmarks of BBC weather - accuracy, authority and reliability will remain but the forecasts will be more engaging and informative.

?Most people want to know ?what?s my weather going to be like?? Our new presentation will give the audience the up to date information they really need, in a way that is easier to understand.?

Viewers will first be able to see the new-look weather globally on BBC World and in the UK on the BBC?s domestic channels - BBC 1, BBC 2, BBC 3, BBC 4, and News 24, as well as on the BBC?s website

The system is able to display weather from all parts of the world and the technology will lead to more live forecasts and more frequent updates to the weather website ? which is one of the most popular parts of BBC news online.

The re-launch follows a recent, major audience research exercise, which showed that BBC Weather was found to be trustworthy, but that the graphics were considered old-fashioned and in need of refreshment.

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