'Weather Eye: The Final Year' is a collection of the last 100 columns penned for the popular Irish Times columm series – which ran for almost two decades – by the late Brendan McWilliams.
Mark Twain’s comment that ‘everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it,’ seems apt for a nation where the weather is always a topic of conversation. Indeed if nothing can be done about it, then the next best thing to do is write about it at which Brendan McWilliams excelled.
The renowned meteorologist opened up the wonderful science of meteorology and weaved it into a rich tapestry with borrowings from the world of art, literature, music, drama, mythology, history, astronomy, politics and the environment. Readers were drawn in by the humorous hook or thought provoking fact, as poetic lines from Milton or Keats were fused with the latest cloud movements; connections between Greek mythology and specific wave patterns on the west coast of Ireland were traced; Aristotle’s link with ‘falling stars’ was discussed and evidence was presented as to why wolves are such astute observers of the weather.
In 2006, Weather Eye took to the airwaves; fans of the column became accustomed to the author’s dulcet tones from his regular Tuesday slot on RTÉ Radio’s Today with Pat Kenny. The radio of course provided him with a fountain of ideas, as emails and letters abounded and created additional material for subsequent columns. Both readers and listeners were often pleasantly surprised to find a mid-week piece commencing with their own specific query. Every column was rich in detail and reflected the curiosity, intelligence, creativity and perspective of its author.
Last year’s series, The Book of Weather Eye: An Anthology, marking the first anniversary of Brendan’s death, sold over 10,000 copies. This year’s collection is again compiled by Brendan’s wife Anne, with a poignant foreword by their son, Stephen.
Brendan McWilliams, BSc. MBA, CMet, FRMetS, born in Dublin in 1944, was an accomplished meteorologist, scientist and administrator. He was formerly Deputy Director of Met Éireann and subsequently a Director of the European Meteorological Satellite Organisation – EUMETSAT. He frequently represented Ireland at an international level within the field of meteorology and climate change. He is best known in Ireland, however, for his daily Weather Eye column, which ran in the Irish Times from 1988 until his death in 2007.
'THE BOOK OF WEATHER EYE: THE FINAL YEAR' – Preorder from GILL & MacMILLAN – published Friday, 11 September 2009 – €14.99/£12.99