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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May, 2005, 09:46 GMT 10:46 UK
R.I.P. Weather symbols
WEATHER SYMBOLS have disappeared from BBC TV forecasts for good, causing a depression to form among fans of the traditional yellow sun and fluffy cloud.

A new front has appeared on the forecasting horizon in the form of Weatherscape XT, which has replaced the traditional symbols used for decades.

Michael Fish
Happy times

The software programme uses virtual reality technology to allow the forecaster to swoop beneath clouds and move around the country.

Shafts of light now denote sunshine, thunder rumbles and snow looks like the real thing.

Friends of the symbol may have foreseen its fate when the weather forecast was enlisted in the BBC's ratings battle.

They certainly would have felt a low forming when audience research showed that people found the symbols "old fashioned" and "boring".

The feedback convinced weather bosses that for most of the 26 million viewers who rely on the forecasters in the average month, an update was needed.

It is described by the BBC as the most radical change in 30 years and the first substantial update since the old magnetic symbols were replaced in 1985 by computer graphics.

The new technology may give viewers a clearer outlook, but for some the move comes not long after having come to terms with another huge change in the weather - the retirement of Michael Fish.

No flowers.

Your tributes:

Ain't no sunshine now they're gone ....
Sue, London

Robert Sharp, UK

Gone but not fogotten.
Philip Wragg, UK

The outlook.... 3D
Ian S, UK, Birmingham

Sadly mist.
Paul Dyer, UK

Blown away.
Andrew Spencer, Spain

The end of a long rain.
Rob Baldock, UK

So long, and thanks to Michael Fish.
Dan, UK

Gone with the wind.
Paul, Finland

Thunderous applause
Dave, UK

A symbolic departure.
Iain, UK

I guess they didn't see that coming!
Wesley Rennison, UK

Hail, new technology!
Andy, Luton

What wonderful graphics we're having for the time of year
Mark, UK

Always look on the bright (with scattered showers) side of life...
Phil Mance, UK

Snow point in complaining.
Tim Pymont

Wind of change
Peter, UK

(That's enough tributes, thanks. To share your opinions on the new symbols, go to this Have Your Say debate.)

See the new weather graphics


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