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Member profile: Cathrene Rowell

CATHRENE ROWELL

Why did you join theWeather Club?

At the time of joining, I was studying the Open University's short course ""Understanding the Weather"" as part of my BSc in Geosciences. I was interested in understanding more about weather patterns, weather related-events and what determines and drives the weather on a daily basis. I soon became obsessed with monitoring the local weather, and invested in a weather station! The Weather Club was advertised on the course website at the time, and I thought it looked like a nice accompaniment to my new hobby!

Daphne joins theWeather Club: Meet our latest recruit - a VW Campervan called Daphne

It's great to be able to introduce Daphne as a new member of theWeather Club. But Daphne is no ordinary member, she's a VW campervan. With stunning turquoise blue paint work and cloud stickers all over her, she comes fitted and ready to take on a tour of Britain this week.

Onwards and upwards: theWeather Club's system moves over the Midlands

Thanks to the nice men at the AA, Daphne the campervan lives to fight another day. An early start in Oxford, first to do some local radio then down to Broad Street to enthuse the early morning commuters about the wonders of weather. It still surprises, and I'm a meteorologist, how many people just want to stop and chat about the weather – the summer heatwave on the Continent, weather in Boston during the fall and the autumnal chill in the air. We are quite literally obsessed with the weather.

The AA man cometh: It never rains, but it pours

Just as I was looking forward to arriving early in Oxford so that I could have a leisurely bath and evening with my feet up – poor Daphne decides enough is enough. Yes - Daphne the VW campervan is sick. A broken accelerator cable on the M4 and we weren't going anyway. Daphne was delighted, however, when two (yes TWO) kind AA men decided to stop and help a damsel in distress. They'd seen Daphne on the TV yesterday and decided they couldn't leave her stranded on the hard shoulder of the M4.

Heading west: An Exeter experience and a whirlwind of Welsh

We travelled to Exeter yesterday evening so that we could have an early start at the Met Office today. The weather on route from Southampton was appalling – torrential rain and strong winds along the A35 coast road. The large roadside puddles were making it difficult to drive and with a stretch of the A35 closed and diversion inland along B roads didn't help the journey. So when we arrived in Exeter at 9:30pm we all crashed out.

The start of the experiment: Liz spends the morning on the BBC, wondering if anyone is listening. They are.

People often ask me, ""How did you become so interested in the weather?"" I guess it is the same reason why so many of us are fascinated by the wind and rain – our weather in the UK is so changeable. It keeps you on your toes whether you're forecasting the weather or just watching the forecasts. My interest just seemed to grow the more I found out about the weather and I feel very fortunate to have had a career in meteorology.

On the road: Early starts, Eammon Holmes and some very young meteorologists

The Great British Weather Experiment got into full swing today with the start of our tour around Britain in Daphne, the VW campervan. Daphne is becoming more famous than theWeather Club, as people admire her sleek blue interior and ask me about the size of her engine. Who can complain, though, as she glides us from one location to next, as we visit 16 cities in the next 8 days.