KVOA chief meteorologist Jimmy Stewart announced plans to retire later this year, the station said in a news release Monday.

Stewart, 69, will step down May 25. KVOA has begun a search for a new chief meteorologist.

Stewart has been in the broadcast news business for 50 years, starting in radio in Ann Arbor, Mich. in 1961.

He stayed in radio, bouncing around from Washington, D.C., Des Moines and Minneapolis and Tucson, where he worked at KNST before making the jump to TV, taking over as weekend weather anchor at KOLD in 1981.

Stewart earned an atmospheric physics degree from the University of Arizona and joined KVOA in 1990.

“Even though forecasting the weather might have been more challenging in some other part of the country, I feel very fortunate to have been able to spend my entire television career in Tucson,” Stewart said in the release.

“It has been very rewarding to contribute, in some small way, to the ongoing success of KVOA.”

Contact reporter Phil Villarreal at 573-4130 or pvillarreal@azstarnet.com