Today will be fine.
But wait: fine as in 'OK', fine as in 'really rather good', or fine as in 'no precipitation'? When you're a TV weather forecaster, you have to deal with the mismatch of your specialist vocabulary with that of the meteorological laypeople watching - as well as cover all the weather across a whole country, translate conditions into something the viewer can identify with, and warn people about cyclones without making them too panicked. (Or not panicked enough - do take sensible cyclone precautions, people!)
Nate Byrne, who presents the weather for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's News Breakfast, breezes in to shower us with meteorological knowledge.
- Get your technical definitions sorted with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology's useful list of weather words - they have a pretty thorough glossary as well.
- Search the World Meteorological Organisation's Meteoterms.
- Cloud shapes!
- The origin of weather forecasts - or ‘weather prophecies’ as they were cynically known at the start - is really quite sad. Content note: suicide.
- The history of the equipment for weather forecasting.
- So many kinds of 'fine'.
- 'The Hurricane' by Radiotopian comrades The Heart is a beautiful, ingenious little story of a stormy romance.
- The Allusionist episode about small talk contemplates why we (or at least we Brits) talk about the weather so much.
- For my birthday this year, my husband took us to an umbrella-making workshop and it was VERY FUN. Also I've managed not to lose or break the umbrella I made in the two months since, which is a personal best.
- The transcript of this episode is at theallusionist.org/transcripts/warm-front.
Thanks to SimpliSafe for sponsoring this episode. To find out more about how SimpliSafe can protect your home from intruders, or fire or water damage, visit simplisafe.com/allusionist.
Blood banks are running low on supplies, and they need regular donors. If you're able to give blood: get involved! Free biscuits! Free feelings of being useful to your fellow humans! Set up your appointment in the USA at redcrossblood.org/missingtypes.html, or in the UK at blood.co.uk.
YOUR RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Nate Byrne is a science communicator, meteorologist and weather presenter for ABC News Breakfast. Find him on Twitter @SciNate.
- This episode was produced by me and Martin Austwick, who also composes all the music for the show. You can hear his songs under the name Pale Bird.
- Find me on the socials: facebook.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/allusionistshow, twitter.com/helenzaltzman and instagram.com/helenzaltzman.
Further listening: I'm talking about language on the latest episode of Getting Curious, the podcast hosted by your imaginary best friend, Jonathan Van Ness from Queer Eye.