Winnipegger’s Retro Weather app warms up TV nostalgia

Some familiar sample screens from Gary Kash's Retro Weather app. Retro Weather

The 1980s called and wants its weather reports back — in app form.

An app designer from Winnipeg is capitalizing on nostalgia for the old Environment Canada weather reports that aired 24/7 on TV back in the ’80s and ’90s, right down to the corny music, basic colours, and generic font.

With the new Retro Weather app, Gary Kash — who is moving back to Manitoba this spring after spending a number of years in Alberta — has replicated the old TV standby, and it’s proving to be a hit with nostalgic iPhone users.

“I think we all have memories, growing up through the ’80s and ’90s and having our TVs on and everybody kind of tuning in to the weather,” Kash told 680 CJOB.

“Really fond memories, I’m discovering. Everyone’s reminiscing. I’m not alone, I guess.”

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Kash, who wasn’t expecting much interest in the throwback project, has already had more than 500 downloads of the paid app in just over two weeks from people who remember the ‘weather channel’ — even if they can’t agree on where it was actually located on the TV dial.

“I had debates with my family about this,” Kash said. “I remember it being (channel) nine, but I’ve heard from a bunch of other people saying it was way up in the channels.”

Although the original channel had a basic, stripped-down look, trying to faithfully replicate that was, in fact, one of the hardest parts for the designer.

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“The most difficult time was trying to find and match that font,” he said.

“I spent probably about two to three days downloading dozens of fonts and matching them all and couldn’t find it until I landed on this one.

“Another challenge was formatting it into the constraints of this old television orientation — getting everything to fit and truncating some of the text so it will fit in exactly the way you remember it.”

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