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Is the weather causing TV interference?

5 May 2021

Spring has got off to a bit of a shaky start. We had the second warmest March day on record, followed by plummeting temperatures and snow during Easter resulting in the UK’s coldest April since 1922. The cold weather was accompanied by air and ground frosts, making it the frostiest April in the UK for at least 60 years. Yet despite the cold and frosts, much of the country also basked in the sunniest April on record.

We’ve had just below average temperatures May, so here’s hoping the upcoming summer months deliver us lots of blue skies and sunshine.

Too sunny?

When we’re blessed with clear skies and soaring temperatures, however, the high air pressure that brings this weather can also affect TV signals.

Usually, a signal from a television transmitter can only be received by those homes that have aerials with a direct line-of-sight to the transmitter. On a warm summer day however, the hot air can get trapped under colder air high up, creating a layer which acts like a mirror for television signals, reflecting them back towards Earth. This can cause signals from different transmitters to overlap and result in Freeview interference.

TV broadcasters can’t prevent it, and adjusting your aerial will make no difference. Reception will only improve when the weather changes.

Too rainy?

But the rain is never far away on our island. While we might enjoy lounging in front of the telly during bad weather, your TV signal could be affected by strong winds, unruly tree branches, wet leaves or flying debris – none of which are your aerial’s best friend.

If you have noticed new interference to your free to view TV, we have a useful guide that provides information about potential causes and what you could do to try and fix the problem.

However, there’s a small chance it may be due to mobile signals, rather than the weather.  We’re here to help – 0808 13 13 800 (free from UK landlines and mobiles).

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We have a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions which can provide further help and advice.

Useful guides

TV interference can be caused by all sorts of external and internal factors.
Our useful guides can tell you more