Good forecast for weather watchers as page re-opens
Technology has made the whole thing possible Lee Schofield Founder of Highlands and Islands Weather
A SOCIAL media page providing accurate Lochaber weather forecasts has risen from the ashes after it fell victim to an online scam.
Until last Friday, Facebook page ‘Highlands and Islands Weather’ had around 78,000 followers.
Set up by data analyst Lee Schofield three years ago, the page was designed to provide accurate local weather forecasts for the area.
Popularity of the page had grown rapidly, even attracting worldwide attention. Last week, however, Lee lost the page completely. The father of one told The
Oban Times: ‘As the page started getting more and more likes, I began to receive offers from businesses wanting to buy it from me but I told them ‘no it’s not for sale’.
‘But last Friday, February 3, when I was busy doing a few things at once, I received a message which seemed to be legit asking to check my details. I followed the instructions but the next morning the page was gone. Whoever it was had taken ownership of the account, changed all my details and that was that. I’ve contacted Facebook but have heard nothing.’
Describing himself as being ‘data driven’, Lee claims the great storm in 1987 cemented his interest in meteorology but it wasn’t until he moved to Scotland that he decided to try and forecast to the masses.
‘I have always had an interest in weather,’ he said. ‘Even as a youngster I kept records and was fascinated by it. It got to the stage so many people were asking me for the forecast and for my thoughts I decided to create an online page to share my findings with everyone.’
For his page to function, Lee has created more than 40 weather stations around the Highlands and Scotland which he maintains has mostly self funded.
He said: ‘There is one on Eigg, several on Skye and one in Corpach to name but a few. People in Scotland love to talk about the weather but in these parts it is more than that. I am contacted by people from the US, lots of tourists who are planning a trip and want to know what to expect or when best to travel. Similarly, locals get in touch before having to drive here or there and they find the information useful.’
Disheartened by losing three years of posts, hard work, time and followers, Lee said he was tempted just to forget the whole project. However, the 43-yearold decided to start afresh and his efforts were rewarded as in just a few days he once again racked up more than 10,000 followers, mostly returning and some new.
He added: ‘ When you have people who are going to be buying boat tickets and going out walking I guess the interest in weather takes on such a greater importance.
‘Technology has made the whole thing possible. I religiously check the stations remotely between 8am and 9am every morning, during the day and in the evening. I work from home, so I am able to do that.
‘I am very data driven. Figures and analysis are always in my head and I enjoy doing it. I received so many messages from various people saying how sorry they were the old page has gone. I really appreciate so many have already managed to find me again. It makes the whole thing worthwhile.’
Lee Schofield has brought Facebook page Highlands and Islands Weather back from the ashes after it was hacked.