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Frome Times’ weatherman gains fellowship

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FROME Times’ weatherman, Michael Cooper, has  been accepted into the fellowship of the Royal Society of Meteorologists for his work monitoring the environment.

For over 30 years local man Michael Cooper has reported on the weather in Frome, sending his statistics to the Environment Department, Met Office and the BBC. He also provides Frome Times with a monthly report. Now he has been awarded a fellowship from the Royal Society of Meteorologists after being a member for 25 years.

“I feel very privileged to have been awarded as a fellow, I really do,” explained Michael. “The study of weather has always been a hobby for me. But it is only my hobby. I was a welding specialist for the Ministry of Defence for 40 years, and still part of the British delegation of international welding, but weather is just my hobby – i enjoy doing it. It’s nice to be recognised for it though.

“I have been living in, and monitoring Frome for over 30 years now and now have enough data to study the town’s climate.

“I started studying the weather in 1982 when I lived in Kent. I remember the cold winter of 1962/1963 when the sea froze along the Kent coast six miles out to sea and I remember the hot summer of 1976.

“I have three anemometers in the house, a cup, propellor and ultrasonic type to study the wind and I have a meteorology satellite tracking dish that can pick up the weather satellites from 23,000 miles out, telling me the changes in weather across the world.

“I also collect barometers, of which I have over 60 that I have bought from various charity shops, and have helped to launch the mid-day weather balloon several times.

“All of my background and projects had to be written into a paper and submitted to the society, as well as be supported by two references in order to apply for a fellowship.

“My two references were Ian Ferguson who is also fellow of the Royal Society, and a meteorologist for the BBC,  and Dr Colin Clarke – head of the Hydrographic Research Station at Bruton.

“When my wife was alive, we used to go travelling around Europe and every trip, I liked to go and visit a weather station. More than 50 years ago now, on our honeymoon, we visited a weather station in Southern Ireland, Valencia.

“Just before she passed away last year on our 50th anniversary we visited the historical weather station on Jersey in St Louis together. All those years she would come and support me.

“All my information, when I no longer can do this  any more – although I am still pretty fit – will be submitted to the Frome museum for all to see.”

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