Ray Wilkie, former meterologist and Network Ten weather presenter, has died at age 98.
Brisbane 4BC radio presenter Spencer Howson reported the news from Wilkie’s son on Saturday night.
Wilkie’s interest in meteorology was sparked during his days with the RAAF in England and Europe during World War II. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Queensland, he then spent a year in Melbourne studying meterology. He went on to work with the Bureau of Meteorology for 35 years, including as Regional Director in Brisbane and in Darwin.
In his 1988 book, Ray Wilkie’s Australian Weather, he recalled the events of Christmas Eve 1974, as Cyclone Tracy had changed direction and headed straight towards Darwin, and being on duty at the bureau’s Darwin offices as the cyclone went over the city in the early hours of Christmas morning. He recalled continuing to phone reports through to ABC as late as 2.30am as rain and wind belted through the smashed windows of the 7th floor offices.
He was involved in the development of the Tropical Cyclone Warning Service for northern Australia and wrote many papers for local and international publication. In 1984 he was awarded a Medal of the Order of Australia for meteorological services to the community.
From 1985, he became a weather presenter for Eyewitness News in Brisbane. It was a role that continued into the 1990s and he also gained a national profile when his forecasts featured in the national late night news.
He was also the brother of former Sydney meteorologist and TV weather presenter Alan Wilkie.
Former TV weather presenter Ray Wilkie’s son Rob has just confirmed to me that Ray died on Thursday night. “He was 98, and his time had come”.
— Spencer Howson 📻 (@SpencerHowson) May 20, 2023