Bureau of Meteorology for ‘sunnier disposition’

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THE Sunshine State wants to banish rain from forecasts, claiming it’s too negative and that meteorologists should get a sunnier disposition.

Chris Honnery
The Courier-MailJANUARY 21, 20187:53AM

South Australia braces for extreme heat

QUEENSLAND’S tourism industry has attacked the weather bureau for being too negative in its forecasting, saying it is discouraging day-trippers.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) has called for a sunnier disposition from the Bureau of Meteorology when informing the public about the day’s weather.

QTIC chief executive Daniel Gschwind said current forecast language such as “partly cloudy” and “chance of rain” should be changed to “mostly sunny” and “likely sunshine”.

Other examples included “showers” and “overcast” to “cooling down rain (after a hot day)” and “cool day”.

“Weather messaging has a significant impact on weekend, spontaneous and daytrip travel plans,” Mr Gschwind said.

“We prefer the ‘glass half full’ option when it comes to weather reporting — for example, ‘mainly sunny’ is more encouraging to domestic travel­lers than ‘chance of rain’.”

Mr Gschwind said showers and rain forecasts should be marketed as a drawcard.

“Rain in Queensland doesn’t have the same implications as the northern hemisphere. I don’t think it should be framed in a bad way. It could even be described as a ‘cooling down shower’ or something.”

University of Queensland tourism expert Dr Pierre Benckendorff said positive weather forecasts had an effect on the psyche of visitors.

“We certainly see a downturn in occupancy at hotels and visitation at attrac­tions when the weather forecast is less favourable. ‘Partly cloudy’ or ‘overcast’ does not tell tourists a lot,” he said.

“More positive language that would still inform other industries without spooking tourists would certainly help.

“Unfavourable forecasts certainly impact on day trippers, possibly impact on short-stay visits but are unlikely to impact on long-haul visitors from interstate or overseas.”

A spokesman for Tourism Minister Kate Jones said the Government had not been approached about BOM’s choice of words.

“Everyone knows Queensland is beautiful one day and perfect the next,” they said.

A BOM spokesman said improvements to the radar network had resulted in more specific forecast modelling.

“The bureau provides one of the most widely used services of government, and we recognise a broad range of indus­tries rely on accurate weather forecasts in their operations, and that these forecasts also influence how the public spends their leisure time,” they said.

“The most recent improvements to the rainfall forecast have delivered more specific, probabilistic forecasts to better inform our customers.”

Originally published as Call to ban rain from forecasts

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