Manchester Evening News – December 2, 2010
Britain should be prepared for more snow chaos according to a local forecaster who believes January could be the coldest in 270 years.
Amateur weatherman Harry Kershaw, 84, from Sale, correctly predicted that last winter would be similar to the 1979 Winter of Discontent.
Now he believes the coming January could be as bad as in 1740, when the Thames froze in London and daytime temperatures failed to rise above -9C.
He said: “Between August and October the weather seemed to be the same as 1986, which was followed by the coldest January since 1740.
“I believe the last three weeks of January and the first week of February next year could be the coldest we’ve had for 270 years.”
Harry, who began forecasting as a merchant seaman, uses a system developed by the German army during the Second World War known as ‘similarity forecasting’.
He matches conditions with those of previous years and then predicts that future weather will follow a similar pattern – often with uncanny accuracy.
In early 2007, his predictions of a miserable summer were at odds with official forecasts, but he was right. He also warned of wet weather last year when the Met Office told us to prepare for a ‘barbecue summer’.
Harry says there have been similarities between August and November with the conditions before the bad winter of 1987, such as matches in the Atlantic weather maps.
The January of 1987 was the worst since 1740, when it was so cold that pigs were roasted at a fair on the frozen Thames.
Harry believes the current cold spell will last until about December 7, when the weather will start to get milder. He believes Christmas Day could be wet. He added: “”I’m looking forward to seeing if I’m right. If my forecast is correct it shows that this is a good system and should be looked at carefully.