(WGHP) – Since August, you may have turned your TV on and thought, “Who is that new girl doing the weather?”
I started working for FOX8 in early August and have been filling in a lot during the work week but I’ve also been on-air every weekend since mid-August.
I’m the new weekend meteorologist which means you’ll see me on FOX8 primarily Saturdays and Sundays.
But, where did I come from and how did I find myself forecasting the weather in the Triad?
Where did my interest in weather come from?
I was born and raised in Durham, N.C., just a short drive down I-40 from the Triad. I attended high school at Durham School of the Arts with an art focus in photography.
During high school, my summer job was a lifeguard at my neighborhood pool. Lifeguarding provided me with a few of my favorite things—swimming, being outside, and being exposed to all the weather elements.
My interest in weather came from lifeguarding. Summertime thunderstorms are a common occurrence in North Carolina and I found them fascinating. No, it was not because I didn’t have to work if it was thundering, although that was definitely a plus.
I found it interesting that on the sunniest of summer days, the weather could change quickly and a thunderstorm would form and ruin outdoor fun for the afternoon. Why did storms form when it did not seem like they would? What was causing the storms to form?
These questions started to pop in my head around the time I was beginning to look at colleges, the summer before senior year of high school. Originally, I looked at colleges with the plan to major in psychology or forensic science. My parents mentioned that I should look into meteorology as they saw my fascination with weather and summertime storms developing.
Where did I go to college, and how did I turn weather into my career?
I took a tour at UNC Asheville and was able to attend an Intro to Meteorology class during my visit. I found the class incredibly interesting, and I pretended as though I was already a student at the university.
I still remember the lecture from that day. Dr. Hennon, the professor, was diving into descriptions of high pressure and low pressure as well as cold fronts and warm fronts. I took notes during the class and asked questions trying to learn and understand.
After attending the meteorology class, I was sold. Weather was something I was meant to do and I wanted to explore it further as a possible career option. Dr. Hennon ended up being my advisor in the meteorology department throughout my time at UNC Asheville.
My favorite class in college was tropical meteorology where we dove further into forecasting tropical systems. We learned where the systems typically originated from, how they developed and how to forecast their future track based on other weather occurring around the tropical cyclone. This class is part of the reason that hurricanes are my favorite weather to forecast.
Before going to college, I thought there was no way I’d end up being a TV meteorologist. I hated talking in front of people, or even just talking to people and figured that alone, would lead me to weather forecasting “behind the scenes.” However, once I was at UNC Asheville, I applied to give tours for the university. This job opportunity provided me the space to practice and improve my public speaking skills.
I realized I love talking to people and getting to know them and this led me to entertain the possibility of working for a TV station. I wanted to experience a newsroom before deciding on my future career, which led me to intern at two different TV stations.
My first internship was at CBS17 in Raleigh, N.C., and my second internship was at WLOS in Asheville, N.C. I was able to get hands-on experience with a green screen and graphics as well as learn more about forecasting for a particular area. These two opportunities helped me realize that being a broadcast meteorologist was exactly what I wanted to pursue a career in.
Where was my first TV job?
My first TV job took me to Denison, Texas, a whopping 18-hour drive from home and everyone I knew. I worked as the weekend meteorologist at KTEN news for two years. I gained experience in severe weather forecasting (i.e. tornadoes) as well as winter weather forecasting.
I constantly joke that I moved to Texas because I thought it was hot and I love warm weather and summertime. However, the first year I was in Texas, they had one of the coldest winters on record. The entire state was under winter storm warnings, nearly everyone lost power, and we lost access to running water for a few days.
During winter storm coverage, I was the meteorologist that was constantly out in the elements, facing the freezing temperatures, snow and the bitter wind chill. The coldest temperature I’ve ever experienced was during the February 2021 winter storm where the morning temperature fell to -4 degrees with a feels-like temperature of -17 degrees.
While I loved every minute of Texas and the crazy weather I forecasted for, a big part of me was homesick which is one of the things that led me to FOX8.
What do I enjoy doing in my free time?
When I’m not talking about the weather, you can find me watching and cheering for the New York Giants, New York Yankees and the Tar Heels.
I also enjoy spending time and snuggling with my dog, Enso. And yes, that’s a weather term. He’s named after “El Nino Southern Oscillation” and is my weather dog that’s scared of thunder.
In my free time, I enjoy reading books, laying in the sun, exploring restaurants and breweries, and catching up on everything in “The Bachelor” franchise.
North Carolina has always held a special place in my heart, especially because I grew up here. It truly has everything a girl can ask for—mountains, the beach, fall foliage, hurricanes, snow and, of course, family.
I am so excited to continue getting to know the community and exploring the incredible cities in the area. Please feel free to reach out with restaurant recommendations or areas to explore!
You can find me on social media and on-air Saturdays and Sundays at 6 p.m. and 10 p.m.