My job as Chief Meteorologist centers around one thing: tracking storms to keep viewers and listeners safe and aware of dangerous weather in Southern Colorado. From our famous high plains blizzards, to light snow that creates icy roads... downslope wind storms in the winter, to gusty thunderstorms in the summer... cloud-to-ground lightning, to dangerous wind chills... in addition to tornadoes and hail, it's definitely a full time job!
As a broadcast meteorologist, I bring some unique experience with me when it comes to analyzing storms. Before getting into television, I was employed at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, where my work focused on thunderstorm initiation, growth and dissipation for use in an automated forecasting and tracking system called the NCAR Thunderstorm AutoNowcaster. This system was deployed to Sydney, Australia and was used to forecast thunderstorms during the Summer Olympic Games in 2000. My work centered on surface-based wind shift lines and outflow boundaries. I had to track these features and how they related to thunderstorm development and/or intensification. This helps me now during the summer months because many times in our atmosphere, a thunderstorm will collapse and produce an outflow boundary (rain cooled air that acts like a mini cold front) that generates new storms. Our usually dry lower atmosphere makes these outflow boundaries very common from about mid June through early September. We have storms almost everyday and you'll usually hear me talk about these outflows as we track storms across the region.
All of my education and professional experience resides along the Front Range. In addition to NCAR in Boulder, before coming to Colorado Springs I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Metropolitan State College of Denver, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology with a minor in Mathematics. I was then hired as the weekend meteorologist at KGWN-TV, the CBS affiiate in Cheyenne, Wyoming before arriving at NEWSCHANNEL 13 in September of 2001 as the weekend meteorologist. In addition to the weekend newscasts and live shots covering the weather, filling in when others were on vacation and doing a lot of behind the scenes computer work were my primary job functions. In April of 2005 I was promoted to the weekday evening meteorologist and later in the year became the Chief Meteorologist. In October of the same year I was the first meteorologist in southern Colorado to be recognized as a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society.
In addition to my on-air duties of both our television and radio operations, I wear many other hats in my job as the head of the weather department. Between being the contact with other departments in our operation, overseeing the maintenance of all our weather computers (we have 16!) and supervising our wonderful staff of STORMTRACKERS (somebody has to make the schedule!), it sometimes seems like I have two jobs to do. I'm very lucky though in that I totally love what I do.
I've been outside during many a snowstorm, have been stuck at the fire station in Falcon during a blizzard but my two most memorable moments in southern Colorado weather involve tornadoes. On August 9th of 2004 I video taped 3 tornadoes (and almost a 4th!) in southern Elbert and northern El Paso counties. Storm chasing will always be something I wish I was able to do more as everytime I go I'm amazed at how much I learn! The other twister, and something I'll remember until I die, was tracking the Holly tornado. I was the only one on live on the air for the first 20 minutes of the tornado's life and remember feeling a pit in my stomach when we first learned there were serious injuries and possible fatalities. Close family friends on my wife's side live in Holly and their house was destroyed by the tornado...I'll always wonder if there is more I could've done that may have saved the two lives that were lost during that tragic storm.
I take my job very seriously and am always looking for ways to improve our weathercasts and how we present and deliver weather information. If you ever have any comments or suggestions, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.