Van was born and raised in North Carolina and has spent all but one year of his life in the state. That one year was spent in Myrtle Beach, SC before coming to WGHP in 1990.
As a child, Van collected weather equipment and began keeping weather records. Today he still maintains a home weather station which can be seen at his website http://www.vansweather.com.
Along with observing weather, he tried his hand at forecasting during his youth. For several years, he put together a winter weather outlook for friends and family. In 1980, he sent this forecast to WPTF TV 28 (the NBC affiliate in Raleigh/Durham in 1980). To his surprise, Hap Hansen, then weatherman for WPTF TV, gave him a call and asked if he would like to present this forecast on the air.
In October of 1980, Van and his family made the trip to the studios where the forecast was presented over the airwaves on the 6 PM news and the highlight included a 14 inch snowfall for December 27, 1980 to be the first snow of the season. "The days leading up to this date became very stressful as I became worried that the forecast would not work out. I did not realize how big of a deal that one night on the air would become. Everyone that knew me, knew about this long range forecast. What are the odds?" On December 27, 1980, it did snow and it snowed all day. "We did not have the 14 inches that I had forecast, but the ground was covered." This experience was the turning point that pushed Van into the direction of broadcast meteorology. The positive experience also is the inspiration for the Weather Kid segment that he began in 1997.
As a senior in high school, Van had another unique opportunity and this was to fill-in for Chief Meteorologist Skip Waters at WCTI-TV (ABC) in New Bern. Van was 17 years old and anchored the 11 PM Friday night weather when Skip was out of town. "I was very nervous to be on TV that night, but, it was my first official weather weathercast."
* 1987 Earned Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from NC State
* 1989 Awarded the AMS Television Seal of Approval.
* 1992, 2000, 2001 and 2002 Nominated for Emmy Awards for Best Weathercasts in the Mid-South region of the United States.
* 2002 Honorable Mention (1st runner-up) Best Weathercast in North Carolina from the Associated Press
* 2003 and 2006 Voted Best Meteorologist in the Triad in the Reader's Choice Awards
Currently, Van prepares the forecast and anchors for The FOX8 5:00 News, The FOX8 6:00 News and The FOX8 10:00 News. Van's forecasts come complete with his 3 Degree Guarantee.
Van and his wife have two children.