What does the position of “Weather Czar” entail?
Mainly it’s forecasting, but sometimes it involves wearing makeup and taking Stormy [NEWS CENTER Maine’s Storm Center vehicle] on school visits. The title started as a joke because Todd Gutner is CHIEF meteorologist, so I thought Czar was the next best thing.
You’re well known for incorporating humor into your analyses. Why is it important to do so?
You know when I first started in TV, a mentor I respect told me, “The worst thing you can be on television is boring.” I tend to agree. But more importantly, you have to be authentic or people can tell it’s an act. I’m authentically not a serious person, so why pretend?
What is one of the most significant misconceptions the public has about meteorology?
Our degree of inaccuracy. It’s not just me being sensitive here – 5-day forecasts now are as good as 3-day forecasts were 15 years ago. 7-day forecasts are right over 70% of the time. We are really making amazing strides. So much so that people don’t even notice when it’s dead on anymore…they only notice if it’s not.
What is the most unexpected topic you learned when studying to become a meteorologist?
I don’t know about the unexpected but people don’t realize how much of studying to be a meteorologist is math and physics. It’s actually pretty brutal. I spent two years on calculus and physics before even talking about clouds in college.
We were lucky to have you return to Maine from The Weather Channel. How is the Maine viewership different from other audiences?
Mainers are dedicated to the weather. They truly care because so many Mainers are outdoor workers or outdoor enthusiasts. The Weather Channel audience was large but it was transient. They might not watch again until the next big storm.
Last modified: June 21, 2021