Today’s question comes from Facebook:
Teresa Walden Terrel: Did you ever want to be anything else other than meteorologist?
Teresa, the answer is yes. I never thought about being on TV growing up. Where I wanted to be was radio!
When I flunked out of college in 1969 I went to work as a disk jockey and lived all across the country: West Palm Beach, Charlotte, Cleveland, Phoenix and Philadelphia. That’s a lot of moving in eleven years.
When my friend Bob Lacey moved (successfully) from radio to TV I decided to take a shot too. My first job was in Buffalo working for Farrell Meisel and Vicky Gregorian, hosting PM Magazine/Buffalo first with Jan Stager then Susan Hunt.
The show was produced 100% on location. We drove everywhere in a pre-4WD Dodge van. As you might imagine Buffalo winters are rough.
After a few years of PM Magazine, I cajoled our news director, Jim Willi, to let me be his weekend weatherman. The idea was to work inside a few days a week.
I knew nothing about meteorology!
It didn’t take long to figure out I enjoyed the subject. Plus it was the first place in the TV station to have a computer! Though I had no formal meteo education I did everything possible to learn.
In 1984 I left Buffalo and moved to New Haven where Mike Sechrist hired me at WTNH.
Around 15 years ago my bosses asked if I would formalize my education. I registered at Mississippi State which has a well known distance learning program for meteorology. Nine semester and 53 credits later I became a certified meteorologist (with academic honors because going to school as a grown-up is VERY different than as a kid).
As it turns out I love meteorology and forecasting. It is seldom a simple or easy task. Commerce and even lives are often affected by what I say. I always keep that in mind.
Every person mentioned is still my friend.