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John Kettley devises the formula for perfect BBQ weather

Leeds, July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- - 2003 set to be a record year for barbecuing

- John Kettley devises a formula to predict perfect BBQ weather for the summer and forecasts that 2003 is set to be a great year for barbecuing

- Record start to 2003 with 28 perfect BBQ days in the UK April-June 2003

- July predicted to break records too

- Yet research[1] reveals that even with the formula, some people in the UK are prepared to BBQ no matter what the weather conditions:

     30% of people in the UK are happy to barbecue in the rain 
     20% would barbecue in the fog and 12% in the snow! 
     Only 19% would cancel a BBQ if weather conditions changed for the worse

Predicting perfect BBQ weather

Boffins led by John Kettley have revealed the formula to predict the perfect BBQ weather. Managers at Ross Frozen Burgers wanted to be able to forecast sales of burgers during the summer BBQ season more accurately, so they commissioned John Kettley to devise a formula to help them predict the perfect barbecue weather. It made sense to share their findings with their customers, and on current form it looks like 2003 is going to be a record year.

The formula is: 'The sum of variables x1-x7 are equal to or less than 35 and equal to or more than 30'

The formula assigns points according to the weather factors (air temperature, wind speed and direction etc) that contribute to provide the perfect BBQ weather. If the predicted weather conditions achieve a score of between 30 and 35, then we can be certain that it will be ideal weather conditions to BBQ. This equates to a dry day, a 5mph southerly breeze, and a temperature of 22oC with full sunshine, low humidity and over 12 hours of daylight.

But additional research* by Ross has proved that whilst barbecuing is undoubtedly a weather-sensitive issue in the UK, there are a few hardy souls who confound the perfect barbecue weather theory and would happily brave the elements in pursuit of a perfectly-barbecued burger.

When asked if they would continue to cook a BBQ if weather conditions changed for the worse, 30% of respondents in GB said they would continue if it was raining, 20% in fog and mist and 12% in the snow. Only 19% would cancel their barbecue if weather conditions were less than perfect.

2003 - a record year?

The 2003 barbecuing season has had an excellent start in terms of weather. April and May 2003 have had 14 perfect BBQ days, double the national average. June alone also had 14 perfect BBQ days against a national average of 7.

July 1995 gave us an exceptional 15 perfect BBQ days against a national average of 9 and may be hard to beat this year. However, current hotter and sunnier weather bodes well and a score of 12 or more now seems likely.

August averages 9 perfect days and the best in most recent times was again back in 1995, when 18 days made the magical +30 rating. This time round long term trends suggest a figure of close to 18 is, again, entirely possible.

John Kettley believes that we are in for a great holiday season packed with barbecuing opportunities. "The long-range forecast looks great for the most part. As ever, it won't be all plain sailing; thunderstorms and spells of cool and wetter weather will intervene on occasions, but the Kettley/Ross formula will provide the means by which to gauge whether your BBQ party will be perfect or not!"

Why predict BBQ weather?

Why has Ross Frozen Burgers commissioned John Kettley to devise the formula? Julia Bradshaw, Marketing Manager at Dalepak, owner of the Ross brand, explains. "We wanted to devise a model for predicting sales of Ross Burgers at Tesco according to the weather. Barbecuing is a key factor affecting our sales and that is obviously weather-dependent. By using weather forecasting to predict ideal BBQ days, we can plan ahead.

"Once we had devised the formula, we realised it would prove really useful for our consumers to help them plan ahead for barbecuing. The beauty of Ross Frozen Burgers is that you can stock them in the freezer in preparation for that perfect BBQ day. No need to dash out and buy at the last minute!"

Julia Bradshaw concludes, "We Brits are obsessed with the weather and with it being so changeable, we hope people will find our formula a useful tool for planning their BBQ parties. With people barbecuing an average of 3 days a month, there should be plenty of opportunities to fire up the barbie and enjoy what should be a record year."

How to predict the perfect BBQ weather

To predict perfect BBQ weather, simply assign a score of between 0 and 5 to weather conditions according to the criteria set out below. Add the total score and if it is between 30 and 35, then you have perfect BBQ weather.

  Factor        5 points    4 points   3 points       2 points     1 point    
  Conditions    Dry         Light      Heavy          Continuous   Thunder    
  (C)                       showers    showers        rain                    
  Temperature   22-25       21         20             19           18         
  (Deg C) (T)                                                                 
  Sunshine      Full        Mostly     Partly         Mostly       Overcast   
  (S)           sunshine    sunny      cloudy         cloudy                  
  Wind speed    5           6          7              8            9          
  (mph) (W)                                                                   
  Wind          Southerly   Easterly   Westerly       Northerly               
  Humidity      Low         Low        Moderate-High  High         Very High  
  (H)           (0-65%)     Moderate   (75%-85%)      (85-95%)     (95-100%)  
  Daylight      12 hours    10-12      8-10 hours     6-8 hours    Less than  
  (D)           +           hours                                  6 hours    

Hence the Kettley/Ross formula for predicting Perfect BBQ weather is:

'The sum of variables x1-x7 are equal to or less than 35 and equal to or more than 30'

Notes to editors:

- John Kettley and Julia Bradshaw are available for interview or further
comment as required.  
- John Kettley is available for down-the-line radio interviews from 1pm on
Wednesday 16th July. 
- Research was conducted by TNS, John Kettley and British Weather Services 
- [1]Source: TNS July '03


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