“The nights are long for me”

The meteorologist, who was the ‘weather man’ of Spanish Television for 22 years, falls asleep listening to the radio, is a fan of Sevilla FC and when he was a child he wanted to be an airplane pilot

José Antonio Maldonado (Seville, 78 years old), after passing through Spanish Television as head of meteorology for the network and weather presenter for 22 years, has turned his profession away from the screens, but not too much, closely following the weather this time over the internet. He is currently Director of Meteorology at Meteored, the website for weather forecasts, alerts and news. He is also the honorary president of the Spanish Meteorological Association (AME) and a regular collaborator with the State Meteorological Agency (AEMET). He has dedicated most of his life to this field and still does not have a clear retirement date because, above all, he likes what he does. “Other people do sports or artistic activities as a hobby, mine is knowing about the weather,” he says proudly.

Monday

06:30 hours. I have a very flexible schedule. Depending on the work I have to do, I get up at 6:00 or 8:00. There are no fixed rules. If I have to speak on the radio or an interview, I prepare what I am going to tell in advance, even if in reality it is only going to be on the air for two or three minutes. I look at the maps and related news. I have to be organized, if they call me I have to know what to answer. I always try to keep the data fresh, so when I wake up I check what the weather will be like throughout the day.

08:00 hours. Good breakfast: biscuits with jam, yogurt and fruit. I have changed coffee for chamomile. I don’t like it like before.

12:30 p.m. I don’t have a routine. My work is generally at home, except when I attend AEMET meetings. Every day, I dedicate myself to attending to the media, with whom I have always collaborated. When I left the Optional Corps of Meteorologists, I began to participate in radio programs.

Tuesday

1:00 p.m. In the 90s they called me from television and they proposed me to be the presenter of the weather. I jumped into the “pool” and so far I have no regrets. It’s been 52 years since I joined meteorology and I don’t feel like leaving it. I like it because time is decisive in life. It affects everything. I know there is a date when I will have to retire, but for now I want to continue. I almost have this year’s agenda ready. It distracts me and I have a good time.

3:30 p.m. When I was a child my hobby was aviation. For different family reasons I was not a professional. I took a course and I even had the opportunity to fly a small plane. I finished my degree in Physical Sciences and found out about the existence of the National Meteorological Service (now AEMET) and since it was linked to what the Air Ministry was at that time, I leaned towards that field.

4:00 p.m. I watch very little television. I’m already tired. When I watch it, it’s to keep me informed with the news. But if it’s time for the time segment, I change the channel. I don’t like the information they give. Also, it bothers me that they say that the presenters are meteorologists and they are not. I prefer to look up the data on my own.

Wednesday

8:00 p.m. I like reading. The last book that has fallen into my hands has been one that my children gave me. It’s ‘Politics for adults’ (Plaza & Janés). I am not a big fan of politics, but I do try to be informed of current affairs like any citizen.

10:00 p.m. I have a hard time sleeping. Since my wife passed away, the nights are very long for me. I turn on the radio and listen to whatever program there is. sports or music. At dawn, the radio accompanies me. When I wake up in the middle of the night, I turn it back on until I fall asleep.

Thursday

2:00 p.m. I don’t have the “virtue” to cook, I hope. Although I am not a big eater, I eat well. I am not a glutton. I accept anything, meat or fish, and dessert is fruit.

3:30 p.m. In the afternoons, I continue working if I have something pending or if I meet friends. The good thing about my profession is that I don’t have to go to an office every day. If I want to, I do it from home or when I go out, it’s enough to have a computer and a tablet.

6:45 p.m. I still get accosted on the street to ask me what the weather will be like for the next few days. It’s not as often as it used to be, when I was fully working on television and it was a bit overwhelming.

saturday

5:00 p.m. Until a few years ago, he played soccer or ran, now he no longer practices any sport. It makes me angry not to. I am a fan of Sevilla FC. If I’m in the city I go to watch the matches in the countryside, at Nervión. At home, I like to see them alone, sitting on the couch. Depending on the time, it may be eating a snack.

7:30 p.m. We have the good habit with my friends from the school in Seville to meet once or twice a year. We’ve known each other since we were 10 years old and most of them are no longer active. I am retired, but I found a way to continue my career on the internet, publishing articles and supporting institutions.

Sunday

11:00 a.m. I have four children and seven grandchildren. On weekends we usually get together to do something in Madrid or I go to someone’s house to eat or have a snack. There are many and there is always a birthday or something to celebrate with the rest of the family. I am very affectionate with my grandchildren, I love them. Sometimes I explain to them about the weather, but they are still little, the oldest is 13 years old.

9:00 p.m. There are many things that I have stopped doing. I remember that on Sundays I went to a country house that we had with my wife in a town. Now I spend it at home or go for a walk accompanied or alone.

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“The nights are long for me”