BBC brings back its flat weather map after 13 years

The BBC weather map has returned to a flat appearance today, after 13 years of a curved look which baffled many viewers, and upset some Scots.

From lunchtime today the standard weather map on bulletins reverted to the flat, birds-eye view of the country.

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The curved BBC weather map was introduced in 2005 (Photo: BBC)

Sarah Keith-Lucas presented the first version of the new-look weather forecast on the BBC One lunchtime news today - and reactions were mixed.

One viewer complained that “place names now obscure the map and the weather” in the the “new smaller BBC weather map”.

The “huge blocky backgrounds to the place names obscure any detail for locations hidden underneath them,” said another. “And ‘Birmingham’ covers half of Wales and the West Midlands.”

“As a Kent resident, the new flat map profile takes a bit of getting used to. We’ve shrunk a bit,” tweeted another.

Scottish viewers were happier with the changes, which proved that the previous angled map had given a “distorted” view of Scotland.

“It’s like you’ve taken the lid off Scotland and let it grow to its full extent. That wasn’t so hard was it?,” said one viewer.

Viewers in Scotland have long complained about the disproportionate BBC weather map (Photo: BBC)

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Over the past few years the tilted map had drawn complaints that it made Scotland look smaller, and even induced reported seasickness.

The change is part of a major overhaul of BBC Weather to reflect a "more contemporary design", with more topographic details like roads and towns to help drivers, and the ability for presenters to zoom in.

While the corporation claims to be moving forward with the changes, the new design will be seen by many as a return to the more traditional symbols.

The BBC's decision to change the angle of its weather map proves that it has been “misrepresenting the land mass of the UK” for years, an SNP MP has claimed.

Ronnie Cowan, the MP for Inverclyde, said he hoped that the corporation’s change of tack would also lead to it treating Scotland more fairly in its news coverage.

In a statement sent to our sister title i, Mr Cowan’s office said he had yet to see the new BBC weather map in action but approved of the change in principle.

“It is good to hear the BBC have acknowledged they were misrepresenting the land mass of the UK and have addressed the problem,” the statement read. “I hope it’s an indication that Scotland and Scotland’s issues will get a fairer representation on all topics, not just the weather.”

Michael Fish presents the BBC weather forecast in 1975 (Photo: BBC)

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“We know how important weather is to all of our audiences both in the UK and globally, so I am delighted to be able to bring them a refreshed look, new data and additional functionality,” said the BBC’s head of weather Liz Howell.

The new design was rolled out first on the BBC Weather app and website, where it already attracted hundreds of complaints, after users said they could not find their favourite locations and key features.