Following consultation with Essex business owners, tourism bosses and local Government authorities in 2009, it was clear that the country needed a local weather service that was unbiased and accessible to all.
Founded in July 2009, Essex Weather has established itself as one of the leading local weather forecasting websites in the United Kingdom. Since day one, we have provided a free public forecasting service to the public via our website, community radio and local weekly newspapers.
Essex Weather co-owns a network of weather stations across the county. These automatic, quality-controlled stations send detailed weather and climate observations via the 5G mobile network every 10 minutes.
Data from the weather station network track severe weather events and pass them on to local authorities for emergency planning.
In June 2022, we launched our current fully-responsive website focusing on hyperlocal forecasting and severe weather.
Is there a need for a local weather service?
Yes, very much so. Independent research carried out in Essex in 2009 and again in 2020 highlighted the desire for a localised service, especially for agriculture and the tourism industry. The closure of the London and Norwich weather centres by the Met Office has resulted in a considerable loss of local knowledge, which is a vital part of producing accurate weather forecasts.
How do your forecasts differ from those of the Met Office?
Our forecasts are written by a member of our in-house team based here in Essex. Our expert local knowledge and access to high-resolution computer models give us the edge. We provide unbiased forecasts throughout the day and offer guidance when severe weather conditions occur around Essex.
Thomas Defty founded Essex Weather in 2009. In total, he has clocked up over 20 years of experience in weather forecasting and consultancy.
His clients include Goldman Sachs, Siemens, Pick Everard, England and Wales Cricket Board, Essex County Council, Aldi UK, British Sugar plc, The Forestry Commission, Saputo Dairy UK and ESCADA.
Before opening the website, Thomas was part of a joint British-German team to develop and market a new high-resolution meteorological computer model. The first run of the model was covered by Sky News to coincide with the 2007/08 winter forecast. Over the following months, the model was developed further and sold to a German meteorological institute in the summer of 2008.
Thomas's interest in weather stems from the 'Great Storm' which swept across Southern England in 1987. At 15, he applied to become a weather correspondent for Anglia Television in Norwich and was delighted to be accepted into the team by recently retired television meteorologist Jim Bacon.
During the spring and summer months, Thomas is often chasing thunderstorms, tornadoes and hailstorms - not just in the United Kingdom but across Europe and the rest of the world! He enjoys winter sports and has climbed numerous mountains in France and Switzerland.