Byline Gillian Gunn
Photography Ben Gallacher
Seán Batty’s journey to becoming Scotland’s most recognised weather forecaster began with the present of a weather kit – which he saw on Blue Peter – for his 7th birthday.
“This is like a dream come true doing this job. When you’re young, you want to be a pop star, a footballer or a rugby player… and then that’s what’s happened,” the STV weatherman told an RTS Scotland event at STV Glasgow in early October.
Batty, who had always wanted to work in meteorology, said, that now is “a really interesting time [to be] working in weather with climate change. There’s just so much happening at the moment – and a lot of denial as well in certain parts of the world.
“It is quite a challenging time but also very interesting because things are changing and changing quite quickly.”
Batty, who started work at the Met Office before moving to ITV, the BBC and then STV in 2007, used clips to illustrate how the style, graphics and technology of weather forecasts have changed. He also showed how he puts a forecast together.
Batty then looked to the future and explained how STV is embracing new technology: “I’m now looking at trying to do some sort of augmented reality within our studio.
“I’m always wanting STV to be way up at the forefront of weather technology and to push it as far as I can.”
But, he admitted that the weather is unpredictable – and seasonal forecasting impossible. “[Because of] forecast uncertainty,” said Batty, “you should always stay within a time period of just a few days because the technology is not good enough. And it will never be good enough because there’s always going to be something that will affect what happens further down the line.
“That’s why the next time you read a headline, ‘100 days of snow expected’… It’s rubbish.”
STV and RTS Scotland welcomed the ten 2019 bursary students to the Glasgow studios. It was a busy afternoon, with a tour and meeting several STV staff, finishing off with a very entertaining and interactive presentation with Seán Batty in the Weather Studio.