Climatologist Ian Black retires from CBC Ottawa after 33 years

After 33 years of forecasting, CBC Ottawa climatologist Ian Black is stepping away from the green screen.

Thursday marks Ian’s latest newscast as CBC Ottawa’s climatologist to conclude a career that began in 1989.

At a time when everyone in the newsroom smoked and used typewriters, Black had his trusty chalk for drawing weather patterns.

He says he can thank his analysis of TV weather reports for his graduate thesis, which helped him keep up with the inevitable changes that come with time and technology.

A self-confessed weather geek, he was excited about technological advancements that have made TV weather forecasting what he thought it could be today.

He is the only forecaster in Ottawa to be endorsed by the Canadian Metrological and Oceanographic Society, and he was the first broadcaster ever to receive that honor.

Black is clearly supported by his audience – the man has almost… 250,000 Twitter followers† That’s 100,000 more than Ottawa Public Health.

Origin story

Black claims he was born to do it again, and the usual folklore surrounding this seems to hold true.

Ian Black, as seen during the first decade of his career in the 1990s, when shirts were busier. (CBC)

As the story goes, when he was six he sat on the porch with his mother and watched a thunderstorm approach. So amazed at the power of Mother Nature, he went to the library and read about the weather phenomenon.

The next time a storm was coming, he warned his mother about the dangers of being outside during a storm.

Before becoming a weather forecaster, Black was a substitute teacher in Ottawa and claims to have taught at “just about every school in town,” according to his CBC bio.

He said he plans to buy a new camera – photography is also one of his passions. He also likes to do a lot of gardening and hanging out by the pool.

He also plans to buy a new set of golf clubs and claims to be better than recent CBC retiree Dan Séguin. There is only one way to determine if that prediction is correct: an 18-hole showdown.

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