From their humble beginnings on Taiwan’s video series Weather Girls, a seven-girl idol group by the same name that specializes in bringing you the week’s weather, have been building a solid fan base in their new home of Japan.

Though a variety of theme months and a constantly improving grasp of the Japanese language, these girls have steadily shown that they are willing to work hard for their place in the spotlight.  However, the next step is a doozy.

It has come to light that all seven girls (one for each day of the week) are studying hard to take the extremely strict National Weather Forecaster Exam next year. The test, which was established in 1994, reportedly has a 5 percent pass rate.  However, if the girls succeed they will become full-fledged weather forecasters.

The group will take the biannual exam in January of 2014 which gives them eight months of cramming. Luckily, the girls have finished up their first album (title pending) set to be released on 3 July including their well-received single Weather Forecast of Love and nine other studio recordings including their upcoming second single Love’s Love ♥ Sunshine.

And if you’re a fan of Weather Girls you can help too! Every month they are holding study sessions with fans where licensed weather forecasters give lectures on the science of meteorology.

From its inception in 1994 only 8,843 people have passed including entertainers like Yoshizumi Ishihara, Masayoshi Okumura, and Taro Yabe. However, these people have the advantage of being native Japanese speakers. Even professional speakers like Yomiuri broadcaster Anna Kobayashi had tried twice and failed both times.

“Along with my regular work, it was just too difficult and I gave up. Weather announcers on TV usually just convey the information given to them, this doesn’t help to pass the test. You need to understand the movement of the clouds and wind as well as how the entire earth undergoes changes from time to time. You get the feeling that the people who take this test also love the weather all the time. Passing is not an easy task.”
[Anna Kobayashi]

The test is open to everyone regardless of age, nationality, or education and covers both practical and theoretical problems. The test and its difficulty were established with the purpose of maintaining the highest level of weather forecasting, because in the event of a disaster accurate weather reporting can mean the difference between life and death.

To get a sense of the test, here’s a basic practice question.

Weather Girl Esse said of the exam with a brightly smiling face, “I’m already studying, but it’s really difficult. Anyway, I’ll do my best! Yappi!”

*Yappi is Esse’s catch phrase

Weather Girls on Facebook
Source: MSN Sankei News (Japanese)
Video: YouTube – weathergirlschannel

▼ Potentially Real Weather Girl: Hijon