UK’s First Weather Webcast

15 July 2009

Blackpool launches UK’s first weather webcast  –  Weather survey prompts creation of Youtube weather channel

When it comes to finding out what the UK weather will be like the next day, British adults are more likely to say they trust local (48%) rather than national news sources (33%) the most to give an accurate forecast.

58% of respondents to a survey of 1,989 people, carried out by Ipsos MORI for visitBlackpool, selected something other than a national news source to be the source they trust most to give an accurate forecast.

Of those surveyed, nine per cent of people trust their own instinct the most, with just 1% believing old wives tales/superstitions/sayings such as “red sky at night, shepherd’s delight” are trusted the most in this respect.

A higher proportion of those in London and the South East (44%) claim they trust national news sources the most to give them an accurate forecast – compared with 31% for those in the North.

Nine per cent of respondents don’t trust any source to provide them with an accurate weather forecast.  

Aware of the part the weather plays in people’s decision making for days out and holidays, visitBlackpool commissioned the survey to establish what sources the British public were consulting. The diverse results have led to the resort putting together its own daily weather webcast hosted on YouTube and inspired by LA film director David Lynch’s daily weather update.

A host of unusual characters from the resort, including contortionists, lifeguards, SEA Life centre divers (who will give their forecast while underwater), zookeepers and clowns, will be giving the daily morning weather reports. The webcast will be updated every morning on http://www.youtube.com/user/BlackpoolWeather  

Weather expert Dr Rob MacKenzie of the Department of Environmental Science at Lancaster University said; “People may feel that weather forecasts are less accurate than they actually are because quite dramatic differences can be caused by very small changes in the landscape. For instance, Blackpool is on the coast on a flat plain whereas Lancashire as a whole is heavily influenced by the fact that the land rises to the Pennines which means there is more rain, while in Blackpool it may be sunny."

Helen France, executive director of regeneration and tourism said; “Places like Blackpool, which has its own microclimate, are often sunny when places close by are overcast. We can often be overlooked by generic regional forecasts, which means we can miss out on potential revenue from tourists. As a resort we wanted to do something proactive, so our daily weather webcast will give people the chance to see how nice the weather is before coming for a day out and more importantly won’t miss out on a day’s activity because they think it’s raining. Even if it is raining, there is still plenty to do here.”

Ends.

Notes to editors

Ipsos MORI interviewed a quota sample of 1,989 adults aged 15+ across Great Britain between July 3rd – 9th 2009, via their face-to-face omnibus service, Capibus. 172 sampling points were used and results are weighted to the known population

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