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What exactly is going on with the weather? Wanstead weatherman explains all

PUBLISHED: 11:30 29 March 2013

Snow in Aldborough Road North. Picture posted to iwitness24 by Ron Jeffries

Snow in Aldborough Road North. Picture posted to iwitness24 by Ron Jeffries

Archant

Feeling a bit confused about the weather this year? So were we, so the Ilford Recorder asked weather enthusiast Scott Whitehead, who does hyper local weather predictions, what exactly has been going on.

Scott Whitehead Scott Whitehead

Mr Whitehead, 41, has been monitoring and predicting the weather since he was at school and now runs a Twitter account with forecasts for around Wanstead.

Back in December, while all the national weather forecasters were saying we would have a relatively warm winter, Mr Whitehead managed to correctly predict we were in for snow.

“Meteorology is basically chaos,” he said: “I’m not always right but when you do local weather you can consider more variables when you’re looking at data. When you do that nationally it’s more difficult.”

Mr Whitehead, of Wanstead Park Avenue, Wanstead, said the reason we are suffering from a prolonged cold snap is because the jet stream, a long band of air which encircles the globe, is lower than usual.

The snow coming back just as spring begins, looking across towards Valentines Mansion. Picture posted to iwitness24 by Anthony BarclayThe snow coming back just as spring begins, looking across towards Valentines Mansion. Picture posted to iwitness24 by Anthony Barclay

He said: “The jet stream is like a long skipping rope. Usually it’s in a straight line but it’s getting longer and elongating, it’s got lots of kinks in it. Usually it’s above Scotland but at the moment it’s over Portugal.”

It is because this stream of air is not in its usual place that we have been experiencing cold temperatures with occasional flurries of snow.

Mr Whitehead, who uses data found online to help him forecast the weather, said: “The jet stream is way south. It’s been moving a lot further south than it normally does for this time of year. When it’s above the UK it pulls the warm air from the Mediterranean up but now we’re getting cold air from the Polar Regions.”

He has been predicting and monitoring the weather for almost two decades and although he considered following it as a career, he likes it being a hobby.

He said: “I don’t know why I do it, I think I had a really good geography teacher at school. In this country it’s always something varying and people ask you about it.”


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