The Weather Outlook

Brian Gaze, Founder

London, UK
Brian hard at work on a forecast. Brian offering a forecast.
An eye to the sky

For as long as he can remember, Brian Gaze has been fascinated by the weather. “I was six years old in 1976, when England had the hottest summer on record,” says Brian. “That really stands out as an enduring memory, as well as all those snowy winters we had in the 1980s.”

A snowstorm would always fill young Brian with excitement — and that sense of excitement never went away even as he grew up. So in 2001, in the midst of his career as a software engineer, Brian decided to engage his passion more deeply by starting a site all about the weather.

His site, The Weather Outlook, aims to provide weather forecasts and data to people who want more in-depth information than is offered by basic weather apps — all while using accessible language that can be understood by non-specialists.

“Initially, the website was very basic and static,” says Brian. “But over time I’ve been able to spend more and more time integrating data sources from national forecasting centers like the NCEP in the USA, and ECMWF in Europe to provide more advanced forecasts and charts.”

The site also features a popular discussion board where fellow meteorological enthusiasts can come together to share insights, compare data sets, and — in many cases — eagerly anticipate that next big snowstorm.

After a few years of impressive growth, Brian realized it was time to explore ways to monetize the content on the site, transforming The Weather Outlook from an enjoyable side project into an actual business.

Brian checking the weather.
The forecast heats up

In 2003, a friend told Brian about AdSense. “I figured I’d check it out. Why not?” says Brian. “At the time, I didn’t quite understand that AdSense would be the first step toward turning this into a real business. Before AdSense, there wasn’t an easy way for website owners to monetize their content.”

AdSense was easy to set up and right away offered Brian the metrics and reporting he needed to understand how traffic was influencing his ad revenue. As money started to trickle in, Brian was able to take fewer IT consulting gigs and spend more time improving the site.

With more free time, Brian started teaching himself how to take the data sets from national forecasting centers around the world, decode them, then produce forecasts, graphics, and charts based on that data. This spurred growth, as it allowed his site to feature unique, professional-grade weather content.

“My 16-day local forecasts became particularly popular because of their simplicity and ease of use,” says Brian. “Also, my extensive range of computer model charts enable people to dig deeper and look at the possibility for themselves.”

These advanced features gave Brian a consistent audience who relied on his forecasts to understand the unpredictable weather patterns in the UK. Plus, AdSense enabled him to provide this content entirely for free, making it widely accessible.

Brian in his office.
The sky’s the limit

In 2014, with ad revenue humming along nicely, Brian was able to take a big step: he’d leave his job in IT consulting and devote himself to the website full-time. “AdSense has been outstanding - and I’m not just saying that. Now I would be able to fully focus on something I’m truly passionate about,” says Brian.

Since then, The Weather Outlook has remained a full-time passion that Brian’s been able to do with his wife, who proofreads and tests content. Ad revenue has also given them the flexibility to bring in freelancers as needed to help with certain site tasks. “My wife is also now part of the team working on the site proofreading and testing content,” he says.

Brian is particularly proud of the community that continues to build on the discussion forum, where excitement always peaks if there’s a possibility of snow. “The build-up is always enjoyable,” says Brian. “And beyond that, the discussion forum is genuinely helpful for people who rely on the weather for their work, like gardeners and farmers.”

As the site’s grown, Brian has become a meteorological authority. He gets to do quite a bit of press coverage in the UK, offering his unique data-driven insights about the weather. He enjoys these chances to offer his expertise — and he sees them as a product of his growth and persistence in this world he’s fallen into rather unexpectedly. “We’ve been featured on the BBC Radio, Times Radio, and I get quoted frequently in newspapers,” says Brian. “It’s really rewarding to be recognized as a trusted resource.”

“Ad revenue is critical to our business, it’s absolutely crucial. I’m able to do a job that I love and believe creates more value to people than my IT job. I’m providing really helpful information to people and sharing weather memories with them.”
Bright skies ahead

“I sometimes remember that if AdSense wasn't available, I would still be working as an IT consultant,” says Brian. “Ad revenue is critical to our business, it’s absolutely crucial. I’m able to do a job that I love and believe creates more value to people than my IT job. I’m providing really helpful information to people and sharing weather memories with them.”

That value is tangible, The Weather Outlook provides resources that wouldn’t necessarily be available otherwise. “I’m really proud of how much people value the site,” Brian says. “We’re one of the best resources in the UK for free access to weather charts and data. If we didn’t offer this for free, there’d be certain data sets and charts that aren’t available to people.”

As for the future of his site? “Ironically, I’m hesitant to offer detailed forecasts regarding the future of my site,” says Brian with a laugh. “Though I’ve been at it a while, it still feels fresh to me. When I get up in the morning each day, I’m excited to try new things and develop new software — so I see a long, exciting road ahead.”

About the Publisher

Brian Gaze is the founder of The Weather Outlook, a website he started to help better visualize and forecast the ever-changing weather in the UK. Brian and The Weather Outlook are frequently quoted in national UK media. Prior to The Weather Outlook, Brian worked as an IT consultant.
The Weather Outlook logo.