Happy Monday and welcome to another edition of Beyond The Forecast!
That means there’s only one meteorologist left to spotlight: yours truly!
I joined the team in February 2020 and was drawn to Roanoke by the beauty of the area, along with its forecast challenges.
Growing up in central North Carolina, I experienced a wide variety of weather from hurricanes and summer heatwaves to winter snow and ice storms.
The most memorable event for me? Raleigh’s 20″ snowstorm in January 2000! Would you just look at the smile on my 7-year old face?
I continued to gain more of an interest in weather until I decided to pursue it as my career!
Becoming a meteorologist requires a bachelor’s degree in meteorology, which I received from NC State University in 2014. I also completed a minor in environmental science during my four and a half years of school.
I also received valuable work experience as an intern in the weather department at Time Warner Cable News (now Spectrum News).
One of my close buddies from college is someone you may be familiar with: Chris Michaels! I’d like to think he helped me get the job here at WSLS.
I have worked at two other TV stations during my career: KTTC-TV in Rochester, Minnesota and WWAY-TV in Wilmington, North Carolina.
Living in Minnesota was such a big change from the South! I had the opportunity to cover some wild weather like blizzards and severe storms and got to work with some awesome people, like Devin Bartolotta, who’s now an anchor in New Orleans, and Chris Barriere, a video producer for the Minnesota Wild.
When my contract for KTTC was up, I moved back to my home state of North Carolina and became a beach bum!
My time in Wilmington at WWAY was definitely stressful at times, as we had multiple scares from tropical storms and hurricanes. I had the opportunity to report from the beach for a couple of them.
The most memorable weather event I’ve covered in my career? Hurricane Florence. My coworkers and I slept at the station for more than a week and we were on the air for 83.5 hours straight, providing valuable weather information to the viewers who stayed and the ones watching from afar after evacuations.
I set my sights on Roanoke after my time in Wilmington came to a close. Having friends like Chris and former reporter Taj Simmons vouch for WSLS certainly helped my decision!
There’s already been lots of weather to track in my year-plus here, including historic flooding last May along the Roanoke River. I was lucky enough to be featured on The Weather Channel that day!
I have the privilege to work with a great team! I learn new things about the area and become a better meteorologist every day from Jeff, Chris and Delaney.
I still have a lot of time left in the Star City and at WSLS and I’m looking forward to every minute of it.
If you haven’t seen me deliver the weather forecast yet, tune in to Virginia Today from 6 to 8 a.m. on weekends! I also fill in from time to time for Jeff and Chris during the week.
Switching gears to the forecast, we’ve been dealing with summertime warmth, humidity and storms to start the week. None of those three things is going anywhere, anytime soon. Chris has a look at what you need to know in our daily forecast article.
You can always get specific forecast details for your zone, whether it’s the Roanoke Valley, Southside, the Highlands or elsewhere around Southwest and Central Virginia, anytime at WSLS.com/weather. Know your zone!
In case you missed it, we’re posting great weather and science content on WSLS.com. Here are a few links from the past week to check out:
-- Justin McKee