What is Sue Palka’s age? Legendary meteorologist to retire after 36 years

Bruno Cooke January 13, 2022
What is Sue Palka’s age? Legendary meteorologist to retire after 36 years


WTTG chief meteorologist Sue Palka will “sunset” her weather duties, writes Fox 5 DC, after an impressive run of 36 years at the station. What age was she when she started broadcasting the weather, and how old is Sue Palka now?

When did Sue Palka’s career as a Fox 5 meteorologist begin?

Meteorologist Sue Palka’a decades-long run in television began in Richmond in 1983. 

She wrote in a statement published by Fox 5: “Drew the weather map with a magic marker over a plexiglass map of the United States. When I was hired at Fox 5 in September 1985, we had recently transitioned from magnetic boards to computer graphics.”

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What was Sue Palka’s age when she started out?

Sue Palka’s age seems to be a matter of contention: some sites, such as The Famous Info, list her year of birth as 1950, which would make her 71, going on 72. Information Cradle, however, writes her date of birth is “unknown to the public”.

TV News Check, meanwhile, cites Sue Palka’s age as 66 and writes she’s “looking forward to longer stints in warm and sunny San Diego, where her two grandchildren live”.

Sue Palka was therefore likely born in 1955 and was 28 when she started her weather career in 1983. WTTG hired her two years later, when she was 30 or thereabouts. 

She also worked as a teacher

Before she began her career in meteorology, Palka worked as a teacher for seven years. She considers weather delivery “a performance”, for which her time as a teacher helped.

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In January 2019, Sue Palka and her husband Joe sat down with Andy Ockershausen for an interview for his Our Town podcast.

“You have a main idea that you have to deliver,” she told him, “and I feel like I’ve failed as a forecaster if you don’t know the weather when I’m done.

“I was a teacher and an actor and that combination got me in the door.”

When will Sue Palka’s final broadcast be?

Palka’s final broadcast as a full-time meteorologist at Fox 5 will air on 23 March. 

“So I’m going to help get you through the winter,” she writes in her statement.

What’s more, Fox 5 general manager Patrick Paolini has asked Palka to continue to make “regular appearances” on the channel’s live programmes and ”do some feature reporting”.

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“That new phase of my career will begin later this year, so we WILL continue to see each other,” Sue said.

The buffer period, adds TVNC, will give Paolini “time to solidify a replacement” – even though, in his words, “you’re not going to fill her shoes”.

TVNC quotes him as saying: “We have likability scores and respect scores (tied to Palka] that are just completely off the charts.”

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Bruno is a novelist, amateur screenwriter and journalist with interests in digital media, storytelling, film and politics. He’s lived in France, China, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, but returned to the UK for a degree (and because of the pandemic) in 2020. His articles have appeared in Groundviews, Forge Press and The Friday Poem, and most are readable on Medium or onurbicycle.com.