Programme Index

Discover 10,331,185 listings and 247,396 playable programmes from the BBC

Storm Troupers: The Fight to Forecast the Weather

Episode 3

Duration: 1 hour

First broadcast: on BBC FourLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

The final episode tells the story of how meteorology became one of the most important scientific endeavours of the modern age.

Alok Jha charts the progress of computer-based forecasting - the bedrock for how we do things today - through the characters who pioneered it. There's the American mathematician Jule Charney, who found a way to simplify weather for the early computers of the 1940s by listening to Beethoven, and the ambitious technocrat John Mason, who gambled the future of the Met Office on unproven technology in the early 1960s.

Alok relives the moments that shook faith in forecasting to its core. He investigates the discovery of chaos theory, which threatened to undo all confidence in 20th-century science, and discovers the scientific consequences of that most infamous of all television forecasts - Michael Fish's missed hurricane, the Great Storm of 1987.

Alok uses stunning science demonstrations to investigate the chaotic, unpredictable nature of weather. He meets present-day giants of meteorology like Tim Palmer and Julia Slingo, and observes one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world in action. Based in the Met Office HQ in Exeter, it's capable of simulating our entire planet's climate. It's a vital asset - one of the key tools that will help humanity face the vagaries of our weather and climate for generations to come. Show less

Contributors

Presenter:
Alok Jha
Producer:
James Sandy
Director:
James Sandy
Executive Producer:
Paul Sen
Series Producer:
Paul Sen
Production Company:
KEO North

About this data

This data is drawn from the data stream that informs BBC's iPlayer and Sounds. The information shows what was scheduled to be broadcast, meaning it was/is subject to change and may not be accurate. More