Why Meteorologists Love and Hate St. Patrick’s Day

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 17 2014 7:36 PM

Why Meteorologists Love and Hate St. Patrick’s Day

On a day devoted to the color green, meteorologists rule (and certainly not because the profession’s so remunerative).

This St. Patrick’s Day, a tweet from Fox and Friends meteorologist Maria Molina is going viral:

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Other meteorologists joined in:

And of course, there’s always Steve Carell.

The green screen, or Chroma Key, has become a basic staple of TV meteorology and, well, pretty much everything else on TV. It evolved as a trick filmmakers used to substitute boring backgrounds for something a little more interesting, or for special effects. St. Patrick’s Day green became the color of choice for these screens, mostly because it was so rare. But not today.

If you’ve ever wanted to go behind the scenes in a TV weather studio to see how this is done, another meteorologist, Fox 6 in Milwaukee’s Vince Condella, gives you the chance.

There’s a fascinating YouTube documentary titled “Hollywood’s History of Faking It: The Evolution of Greenscreen” for those who want to explore more.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Eric Holthaus is a meteorologist who writes about weather and climate for Slate’s Future Tense. Follow him on Twitter.