Every weeknight you tune into News Central…and look for your weather forecast, your own chief meteorologist Jeff Cox greets you.
Every weeknight you tune into News Central…and look for your weather forecast, your own chief meteorologist Jeff Cox greets you. You see it as a seamless weather forecast, taking you into the future of the skies. But, what exactly does it take to get here? And, what does a TV weathercaster really do?
“Really my day begins when I wake up in the morning. I take a look at the satellites, the wind direction. I look at where it’s rainy, where it’s not, where it’s cloudy, where it’s not, and the temperatures,” says Jeff Cox.
Around 2:00 p.m. Jeff comes into work to start his 8-hour work day, and heads directly to his Storm Track Weather Lab. “This is one of the first things I look at. It’s our Storm Track Weather System, a very high resolution system. I'll go ahead and cycle through it to see if there is any rain or anything coming through here,”
Whether or not the forecast is clear, the studying of maps continues for hours, examining rain, cloud and wind patterns across the continent and in our area. One notable pattern, Jeff says, for anyone looking for a weather tip, is the direction of the wind.
"Southwest winds in Middle Georgia will warm us up. Northwest wind will cool us down, Northeast or Easterly winds will bring in clouds and cooler weather,” says Cox. By about mid-evening, Jeff's mind is no longer only on the weather. "Deadlines are big in TV, we are going on at 5:30 whether you are ready or not."
Across the country, there are more than 1000 TV Meteorologists, like Jeff, forecasting the weather for their local community. And though there is a lot of science behind it, the forecast may not always come out right. “Weather is volatile, it changes. So we, as meteorologists, are confident about the first few days. The second half of that 7-day forecast, we are confident enough to put it on air, but we should probably have a disclaimer with it that it may change from time to time.”
On the days, science matches up with Mother Nature, not only is the viewer happy, but so is the Weathercaster. “When you make a forecast, you sometimes keep your fingers crossed that it’s going to be right, and to come in and say, ‘Yes’, I called that high, or ‘I thought it would rain,’that's a really great feeling.” A feeling he aims for every day, in the life of a TV meteorologist.