Using a mix of ratings, awards and social media metrics, B&C selected a cross-section of meteorologists spread out across the top 25 DMAs who deserve a tip of the umbrella. Here is a look at the 2016 major-market Weather Whizzes, along with their station’s ownership and affiliation:
PETE DELKUS, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WFAA DALLAS (TEGNA, ABC)
Delkus designs his weather reports so that viewers understand what the information he is providing means to them as they go about their daily routines. He tries to avoid getting bogged down with jargon while striving to provide viewers with a deeper understanding of why weather events occur.
PAUL DELLEGATTO, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WTVT TAMPA, FLA. (FOX O&O)
Dellegatto is the longest-tenured chief meteorologist in Tampa television. He was the first meteorologist in the country to show the various spaghetti models that illustrate the complexity of tracking tropical systems.
ERIC FISHER, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WBZ BOSTON (CBS O&O)
Fisher is a pretty affable guy on-air. But he’s a self-described “psycho” when it comes to work, which starts with checking computer models upon waking up. “Anyone who pops into the weather office during forecast and prep time knows I’m not particularly friendly at that time,” he says.
IRV GIKOFSKY, CHIEF WEATHER EXPERT, WPIX NEW YORK (TRIBUNE, CW)
A former schoolteacher, Gikofsky created the New York City school system’s first computerized weather programs for kids to use. Known on-air as “Mr. G,” Gikofsky has visited more than 500 schools, many in lower income districts, as a motivational speaker.
JOHN MORALES, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WTVJ MIAMI (NBC O&O)
Having worked in Spanish-and English-language TV, Morales was the first Hispanic broadcaster to substitute as meteorologist on the weekend edition of NBC’s Today show, which he did multiple times while working at Telemundo WSCV Miami. He is one of very few broadcast meteorologists elected to be a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society.
MIKE NELSON, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, KMGH DENVER (E.W. SCRIPPS, ABC)
In the 1970s and ’80s, Nelson helped pioneer weather systems for early computers, including the Apple IIc, the first attempt at an affordable computer display for broadcast meteorology. Since then, he has installed systems at dozens of TV stations and trained big-name personalities such as NBC’s Al Roker.
BRAD PANOVICH, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WCNC CHARLOTTE (TEGNA, NBC)
The consummate weatherman, Panovich says he’s passionate about the weather, and keeping people apprised of what’s afoot, especially when weather can truly impact their lives. “I love this stuff and have since I was six years old,” he says. “So I live, breathe and sleep weather.”
DALLAS RAINES, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WABC LOS ANGELES (ABC O&O)
Raines is known for some of his signature moves during forecasts—the crouch, the swing and the pump among them. But he takes weather seriously, too. Raines (his real name) attended a debate on global warming in the Clinton White House. He has also worked as a college meteorology professor.
ANDREA ROMERO, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WNJU NEW YORK (TELEMUNDO O&O)
Romero leverages a multitude of tools, from WNJU’s app to Facebook Live, to keep Spanish-speakers up to date on the weather. The bilingual meteorologist was one of the country’s first Hispanic women to obtain seals of approval from both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.
TOM SKILLING, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, WGN CHICAGO (TRIBUNE, INDEPENDENT)
Legend has it that, after 38 years at WGN, Skilling can influence the grain markets with his forecasts. In April, Skilling hosted his 36th annual Tornado and Severe Storm Seminar at the research center Fermilab. He also hand-draws weather maps that are the basis for the ones that appear in the Chicago Tribune.
AMBER SULLINS, CHIEF METEOROLOGIST, KNXV PHOENIX (E.W. SCRIPPS, ABC)
One of the relatively few female Big Four affiliate chief meteorologists, Sullins has spent the last three years focusing on covering climate change, and its impact on Arizonans. With help from Climate Central, Sullins uses graphics on-air and on social media to help viewers better understand climate science.