Met Office considers using regional dialect in weather reports


The Met Office is considering whether introducing regional dialect will increase the public's understanding of weather forecasts.

The scheme is being launched after a survey of 2,000 people in January 2018 found disparities between how people across the UK describe the weather.

The research, conducted by Vital, found over half of people in the Black Country reported that they use "bucketing" to describe heavy rain, whereas six in 10 people in Leeds and Newcastle would say "chucking it down".

Londoners prefer to say "caning it", whereas those in Birmingham and Bristol use "tipping it down".

Overall, "pouring" was the most popular term nationally.

Derrick Ryall, head of the public weather service at the Met Office, said: "The range of slang for rain alone demonstrates the breadth and diversity of the English language and the varying terminology used across different parts of the UK."

They also found two-fifths of people living in London described temperatures of 15C (59F) in January as cold, but three-quarters of those in East Anglia, Wales and the South West thought it was warm.

On Thursday the Met Office will launch a project called #3wordweather, asking people across the UK to Tweet a description of the weather where they are at that moment in three words.

The information gathered from this will be used to compare regional phrases used across the UK to see if there are more comprehensible ways to express the forecast.

Mr Ryall said: "As the UK's national weather service, we're always looking to improve the way weather forecasts are communicated, to make them as useful as possible and increase their understanding.

"Ultimately we hope to use the insights from our research to tap into local dialects and vocabulary to make it easier for people across the UK to understand the forecast and make informed decisions based on it".