There was excitement amongst meteorologists today as the Met Office announced the introduction of a new ‘Volcano’ weather symbol. The graphic, a giant ash cloud surrounded by a halo of molten lava, is the first new weather symbol in over seventy years – the last being the ‘Pea Souper’ which was introduced in the 1940s and appeared frequently for the next two decades, before fading into obscurity.
A brief flirtation with an ‘Acid Rain’ symbol was abandoned after it ate through the weather map and, during the 1980s, the one-off ‘Mushroom Cloud’ had to be withdrawn after Ian McCaskill accidentally put it up during Wimbledon fortnight and sparked a three-minute warning.
The new symbol was welcomed by annoyingly cheerful weather presenter, Carol Kirkwood: ‘I am really looking forward to using it,’ she said excitedly, ‘Volcanoes are fast becoming a major feature in Britain’s prevailing weather system and people need a graphic to warn them of ash fall, larva flow and scattered showers of molten rock.’
The Met Office have rejected claims that the new symbol was a waste of time and that they should have focused their energies on coming up with a proper symbol for fog instead of just writing the word ‘FOG’.