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FOTY 2023 Winner, Met4cast

5 February 2024

Welcome to the first post in a series of blog posts we’re calling “Winner Spotlight”. Incase you haven’t already worked it out we’ll be shedding some light on the people behind weather accounts that win each year. So, lets get into the first one.

Congratulations on winning Forecaster of The Year 2023, Danny! You must be extremely proud to win such a prestigious award. We’ve noticed your banner on X 😉

We may adopt this for 2024…

As an amateur meteorologist, what sparked your interest in studying weather patterns and meteorological phenomena? 

I’ve loved weather for as long as I can remember, I don’t think there was a specific event or moment that triggered it, it happened rather organically. I joined the BBC Weather message boards in the early 2000’s and learned that you could look at weather charts and haven’t really stopped since. The amount of data available today compared to 15-20 years ago is astonishing.

Can you highlight a specific weather event or phenomenon that you found particularly intriguing or challenging to analyse, and how you approached understanding and explaining it? Perhaps something you just found fascinating. 

The UK reaching 40C in July 2022 has to be the stand out. I remember being amazed that a GFS deterministic run had shown such temperatures in the UK for the first time, I was even more astonished when it actually happened. I’d say that was challenging in that it seemed so “out there” it was difficult to comprehend that it might actually happen, and then it did!

Collaborative efforts often lead to better outcomes. Can you discuss any collaborations or partnerships with other meteorologists or organisations that have been instrumental in your success?

I tend to go it alone when it comes to forecasting but everything I’ve learnt has been thanks to talking to other people, whether that be on weather forums, Twitter or in private. I can be quite “slow” to understand things but it often takes something very simple to make things click. Keith Baker-Biggs (@MetSwirl) was definitely a huge influence right at the beginning when I was learning the very basics of forecasting and I don’t think I would be where I am today if it wasn’t for the Met-Monkey forum he created. I will always be thankful to him for that. 

More recently working with @Ben_Weather to produce the convective forecasts during the summer has been great and I’ve learnt a lot, hopefully this comes across with improved accuracy in the forecasts.

What are your future goals in the field of meteorology, and how do you plan to continue making a positive impact on the weather community?

No plans beyond continuing to share the passion of weather with other like minded people.

In the realm of climate change, which meteorologists (amateur and processionals alike) play a crucial role. How do you integrate considerations of climate change into Met4cast? Those who follow you will already know you have a tendency to be particularly vocal on X in this area.

I’ll continue to be vocal about climate change, I think it’s more important than ever to share facts & explain or show what’s going on and how this relates to human activity. The evidence supporting this now is overwhelming.

Cats or Dogs? 

Forecaster meow is currently looking at me so.. cats.

Bonus question: Do you have any “predictions” about the future that you’d be willing to share with us today?

No real predictions but I hope society becomes more relaxed around the idea of gender & sex in the same way it has (to an extent) on sexuality. I hope people are able to express themselves more freely in the future without prejudice or violence. Sadly though, things seem more divided than ever at the moment. There should be no place for hate in society. 

In terms of weather – I suspect forecasting will continue to improve, I think sub-seasonal and long-range forecasting will see accuracy improve in the same way 1-5 day forecasts have in the past 20-30 years.