#BigData questions on analysing #weather #data with @newslineweather

A plea for help….

Readers of Northern Ireland I need your help, it’s a BigData prediction that’s stumped me for an awful long time. Yeah I know there’s the excellent Yahoo Weather app and all that but this is a far more trickier conundrum to solve. 

It’s a question that’s been on my mind for a while, I have this theory and it’ll sound really daft, but still, it’s a theory. 

I know millions, nay billions are spent on weather analytics software, prediction algorithms where 0.00005 positive or negative can have an effect on weather prediction outcomes. I believe there’s an easier pattern to pick up.  

The person presenting the BBC Northern Ireland weather gives an indication of what the weather is going to be like.

The variables (or usual suspects)

Here they are….

The usual suspects, yesterday.
The usual suspects, yesterday.

If Cecilia is on it will rain….

You know what, I want to be wrong, I know deep down that I’m “probably” wrong but I don’t have the data to back it up.  Perhaps it’s just the way these things land, or perhaps there is some sinister rota planning going on…. who knows? 

My observation is it sort of works like this, working from left to right of the BBC Newsline weather team.

Geoff Maskell – Usually sunny, might not be overly hot but the sun will be out. 

Cecilia Daly – Rain, usually biblical (and I know it’s not her fault, she just gets those days for some reason)

Jo Scott – Mixed bag, four seasons in one day (by rights for NI Jo should be on every day).

Angie Phillips – Overcast, occasional shower but with bright spells, or a sharp shower here or there.

Bara Best – Snow and rain, but mainly snow. So you don’t see much of him during the summer months.

This is how it looks to me but I don’t have concrete  data to know which presenter was working that day and what the weather was.  Now getting the weather data isn’t difficult as there are plenty of feeds out there. Finding out who was working that day, well that’s a different matter. 

It’s the only time you can quite easily blame Frank Mitchell for the weather 99% of the year. 

Crowdsourcing Some Data

So for those that feel they want to help…. feel free to leave a comment. Those watching tele, the HR department of BBC Northern Ireland, tweet, I really don’t mind. I’ll collate the data for decent amount of time, a year perhaps and this time next year will present my findings (chances are if Cecelia’s presenting there’s a 70% chance of rain) 🙂 


A small after thought….

We know it’s not Cecelia’s fault it rains (correlation is not causation), or Geoff, Angie, Jo or Bara for that matter. It’s a bit of craic and not to be taken too seriously.  There’s some good data to learn from and if you correlate it with other data, like the price of beans, then who knows what we can learn. 


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