Cusack has been a staple of Irish public conscience for decades as the deputy head of forecasting, being the face of the weather in the news until her promotion in March 2018 to the head of the service.
Some of the contemporary age’s most extreme weather events happened under her watch: Storm Ophelia in October 2017 and Storm Emma in March 2018, in a chaotic group of months that she would describe as her “annus horribilis of weather” when speaking ahead of her last day to RTÉ.
Cusack has been vocal about the problems around fake forecasts and made-up weather warnings in recent times, describing the practice as “very irresponsible.”
She elaborated further, saying “Maybe some people think they are better at forecasting by looking out their window than the full team at Met Éireann. We run a 24/7 operation paid for by the citizens of Ireland, so I’m actually astounded.”
“The weather that’s going to affect Ireland in four days’ time is across the Atlantic Ocean, 3000 miles away. The weather that will affect us in six days is around the Pacific Ocean so there’s no way an animal could be affected by that,” she continued, debunking the myth that animals’ behaviours can be used to predict the weather.
Despite major advancements having been made, it’s still only possible to accurately tell the weather four to five days in advance.
“If you look at Met Éireann’s mission statement, the reason we exist, what we’re paid for by the Irish taxpayer is to predict the weather and to provide timely warnings of severe weather in order to save lives. So that’s our function.”