I've got to hand it to the Brits -- I would have never thought that weather could be fashionable and fun at the same time, but they've managed to accomplish both.
"The Met Office", which is the United Kingdom's version of our National Weather Service, has just sponsored a new line of clothing through Rapanui that allows you to wear your weather on your sleeve...and chest and arms and torso.
As their website states, "The Met Office is one of Britain’s most iconic institutions: quirky, scientific and unintentionally cool."
After all, this is from a country that describes mostly sunny days as "bright" and sunbreaks are usually described instead as "sunny spells."
(Could you imagine NOAA coming out with similar shirts?)
But it's not just fashion, the Met Office also now has an online game that allows you to practice being an armchair meteorologist -- and give you a chance to win one of those cool shirts to boot. (At least, I think you can. I'm not sure if non-UK residents are eligible, but the game is fun anyway.)
You get to be the forecaster as an ice cream salesman has to decide where to set up his ice cream stand and how much to invest in inventory. You are given some percentages -- just like forecasters are with forecast models -- and it's your job to craft a forecast and give the guy advice based on what the models say. You tell him what city is most likely to be the warmest, what time of day will be the driest, and then, Bob's your uncle.
The scoring is based on how much money he made (in British pounds! So it's like double what he would make in the U.S.!)
The game is humbling. I, um (cough) was anointed the title: "Rookie Meteorologist" the first time I played it. (Rained on Mr. ice cream scooper with only a said 20% chance. That, um, never happens in Seattle (right?) so forgive me for missing it there. ) Guess I won't be sending any resumes across the Pond anytime soon!
By the way, NOAA does have an online weather simulator you can play too, although this deals with forecasting severe weather and tornadoes. It is more geared toward weather geeks but here is the link anyway.
In the meantime, with cooler weather on the way, maybe the MetOffice should look into some weather sweatshirts too?