The Paisley-born meteorologist is preparing to hang up her brolly for the last time when she presents her final show just before Christmas.

A fixture of BBC Scotland since 1994, Reid said the time was now right to move on to fresh projects in the fields of science and education.

During the past few years, Ms Reid – who has become known for her cheery catchphrase, “Hello there” – has divided her time between her Reporting Scotland post and other work as a science communicator, including a position as a trustee at the Glasgow Science Centre.

She will now take on a role at Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS) related to the new national Curriculum for Excellence.

BBC Scotland head of news and current affairs, Atholl Duncan, said Ms Reid would be “greatly missed” by her colleagues.

He said: “The Scottish weather forecasts may never be the same again. Heather has become a national institution over the past 15 years.”

Ms Reid, who received an OBE for services to physics in 2006, said she had thoroughly enjoyed her time with Reporting Scotland.

“However, over the past few years, I have found it increasingly difficult to balance my science education work with my role as BBC Scotland weather presenter.

“2010 brings exciting and challenging times in education, and I’m looking forward to becoming more involved,” she said.

The Reporting Scotland slot is expected to be filled by Ms Reid’s colleagues, who include Gail McGrane.

The outgoing presenter’s arrival at LTS was welcomed by chief executive Bernard McLeary, who said: “LTS has enjoyed a long-standing relationship with Heather, one that is set to continue as Curriculum for Excellence is implemented across Scotland.

“Most recently, Heather led a successful video conference about climate change with pupils across the country through Glow, the Scottish schools’ intranet, to tie in with the UN Summit in Copenhagen.

“I’m delighted to wish Heather well in her new venture and we look forward to supporting and working with her, particularly in the areas of science education and climate change.”

Ms Reid has been a prominent commentator on environmental damage for several years. The forecaster, who has an honours degree in physics from Edinburgh University and a postgraduate qualification in meteorology, described climate change in 2006 as “one of the biggest challenges facing society”.

She has since fronted a major campaign, the Path is Green initiative, aimed at encouraging young people into green jobs in Scotland, with suggested professions including forest ranger,

electrician or ecological surveyor, as well as posts in the renewable energy industry.

Born in Renfrewshire in 1969, Ms Reid has frequently been held up as a positive role model for young girls to follow. She joined the Met Office in 1993, and moved to the BBC a year later. Since then, she has been one of the most prominent female scientists in Scotland.

She has frequently criticised the perception that weather forecasting is “just about reading a script”, and insists on putting together her own forecasts based on analysis of complex weather patterns.

Ms Reid told The Herald that the stand-out memories from 15 years of broadcasting included extreme events such as temperatures of -20 degrees hitting Glasgow and flash floods. Such occurrences are expected to become more common as global weather patterns change.

Now living in Glasgow with her husband Miles, a physicist, and their five-year-old daughter, Jenna, Ms Reid’s hobbies include hill-walking and cricket.

Her last Reporting Scotland broadcast will be on December 22.