RTÉ

RTÉ Weather:
A Brief History

RTÉ.ie’s new weather site now gives real-time and 7 day weather forecasting for anywhere in Ireland. To coincide with the launch, we’ve compiled a short photo essay on the history of RTÉ Weather.

Photo: NEODAAS/University of Dundee
Gif
It will continue rather warm in all districts...

Click to play the earliest surviving Radio Éireann recording of a weather forecast featuring Bernadette Plunkett from 1939.

1974

Black & White

In the early days of television, RTÉ Weather reports were simply read straight to camera without maps or diagrams.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives
1979

The Pyramid Lands

Met Éireann moved to its striking pyramid-shaped headquarters in Glasnevin in 1979. The building includes a lab and a library. Over 100 staff perform tasks that include forecasting, environmental monitoring and the keeping of climatological records.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives
1980

Hand Drawn Charts

The first weather forecasts on Irish TV used maps and charts prepared by hand. These were created at Met Éireann and brought by bicycle to RTÉ. The presenter would attach cardboard symbols of the sun, rain and clouds, and point to the charts with a wooden ruler.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives
1983

It's Raining Women

Meteorologists Evelyn Murphy and Jerry Scully work on a weather chart in Met Éireann's headquarters in Glasnevin. Evelyn Murphy became the first woman to forecast the weather on RTÉ Television. Female presenters have since become the mainstay.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives
1988

A New Age

In the late 1980s, computers changed everything. The weather forecasters could now draw their charts using computer graphics and show them on screen. This shows one of the first training sessions on the new weather computer system.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives
1988

The Sun Doesn't Always Shine on TV

With the new computer systems, weather presenters could explain the forecast and change from one picture to another using two hand switches and a foot pedal.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives
1990

Ger Fleming

Gerald Fleming was one of the most recognisable faces on Irish television for over twenty years. He began broadcasting weather bulletins in 1985 but signed off TV duties with his trademark wink in 2008 to become Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives

“Don’t make unnecessary journeys…”

Teresa Mannion’s stoic reporting for RTÉ News on Storm Desmond in December 2015 became a global sensation on the internet, inspiring countless memes. The clip went viral again in 2017 when Snoop Dogg and 50 Cent shared a version.

1990s - Present

Chroma-key

In the 1990s, the weather moved to a chroma-key or “blue screen” studio in RTÉ and it’s been there ever since. The weather pictures are created on computer and fed directly to the camera in studio.

Photo ©RTÉ Archives
2017

Thank You

In October 2017, a schoolgirl from Cork wrote this letter of thanks to RTÉ Weather presenter, Joanna Donnelly after Ex-Hurricane Ophelia hit Ireland.