The weather-watchers of the Western Isles are bidding a fond farewell to one of their best sources of climate facts and forecasts, in November, as Coastguard officer Richard Cooke leaves the islands after 14 years.

But although Richard, who runs the popular Western Isles Weather Facebook page, will be a long way from Lewis, he’ll be even closer to the forecast than ever before.

Richard’s been recruited by the Met Office in Exeter and will be working on the weather desk there from mid-November, in a new role as weather desk adviser which is very much engaged with helping the general public.

He told Events: “People can ring up on the Met Office enquiry line if they’re getting married, planning an event or want information about specific weather forecasts and I’ll be one of the voices they’ll encounter.

“If they’re not happy using the phone, they can also email and I’ll be updating the social media side as well.”

It’s a role Richard is well-suited for, having made weather his lifetime hobby and taken his Western Isles Weather Facebook page, launched in 2012, up to a peak of 18,000 followers.

So it’s obviously a blow to islanders, and island enthusiasts, that there’ll no longer be daily forecasts from Richard to help plan island life.

But Richard said: “The page will change, but will still be active with photos, weather warnings and the Met Office’s YouTube forecast. And I’ll still be coming up on holiday and to see my family, so I’m not gone for good!”

The Met Office public enquiry line is available on 0370 900 0100 or by email on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..