Weather Forecasts Were Banned in Britain During World War II



After nearly six years of war, Victory in Europe Day on May 8, 1945 brought relief to millions of people. It also brought back national weather forecasts for the public for the first time since World War II began. Weather played a huge part in military planning. D-Day was probably the most high-profile operation affected by the conditions. The Normandy landings were originally planned for June 5, 1944, but on advice from the UK’s chief meteorological adviser they were delayed by 24 hours because of a storm in the English Channel. That was one of many times when operations were affected by weather. On the home front, there were other reasons to keep the weather conditions secret. Keeping the nation fed was a high priority. For farmers, the weather can mean the difference between having a good harvest or losing a crop. So, special weather forecasts were broadcast on the BBC in code, as there were fears that the Luftwaffe would target ripening crops. If there’s a silver lining to the grey clouds of the ban on the weather forecast, it was that the unpredictable nature of British weather is always the perfect conversation-starter.