The Met Office lost its BBC contract because of rows over dumbing down of broadcasts and fears that it could not produce a decent phone app, sources have claimed.
The BBC confirmed on Sunday that it will end its 94-year-old relationship with the weather service next October saying it had failed to make it to the final round of its tendering process.
Although a statement from the corporation suggested that he Met Office bid had not been the best value for money, a source at the BBC said that it was its inability to produce a good enough app for mobile phones that was the main reason behind the decision. The current Met Office weather app is rated just two stars.
The Met Office is rated the best forecasting body in the world. Its four-day forecast is now as accurate as its 24-hour forecast was 30 years ago and next-day temperatures are correct 91 per cent of the time. From this autumn its new supercomputer will allow more accurate updates that ever before, giving forecasts six days ahead instead of the current four and analaysing data once an hour rather than ever six.
However, despite the imminent upgrade, the BBC has ruled out the national weather service in favour of two foreign companies, Dutch based MeteoGroup and New Zealand forecasting service Metra.
Ben Bradshaw, the former Culture Secretary and MP for Exeter where the Met Office is based, said: “It seems to me that the BBC wants to dumb down its weather forecasting. The weather is a national obsession and we shouldn’t assume that people want simplistic updates.
The corporation will continue to use the Met Office for severe weather warnings. After the new contract is decided, presenters will begin discussions about whether they will move over to the new provider or retain their jobs at the Met Office.
A versão portuguesa do MeteoGroup: