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Rich Wirdzek

Storm Center 7 Meteorologist

I joined WHIO-TV and the Storm Center 7 weather team as the weekend Meteorologist in July 2006 and then later I became the morning and noon meteorlogist.

I earned my degree in Broadcast and Operational Meteorology at California University of Pennsylvania, just south of Pittsburgh, where I began my broadcasting career during my last semester of school working as a Meteorologist at HSTV-News 19 in Uniontown, PA.

Shortly after graduation, I departed for Columbus, MS in July of 2004 and worked a majority of my time at WCBI-TV (CBS) as the Morning and Noon Meteorologist.

My time in the south provided valuable experience with severe weather coverage, including tornado outbreaks, straight line wind events, and even hurricanes. As an avid storm chaser, I take every opportunity to get as close to the storm as possible, of course when not in the studio covering heavy weather.

Born and raised in Rockville, MD, just outside of Washington, DC, I’m excited to be closer to home. With a majority of my family originally from Western PA and from my time spent there in college, I’m even more excited to be near Pittsburgh so I can catch my Pirates, Penguins and Steelers a little more frequently than before!

 

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Q & A

Where were you born? Washington, DC

Where did you grow up? Rockville, MD

What was your favorite TV show then? Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

What was the first thing you ever wanted to be? Baseball Player

How might someone have described you in high school? Quiet, Shy, Nerdy

What was your first job? Selling shoes at Famous Footwear

What was your first job in television? HSTV – Uniontown, PA

What do you like about your job? It’s an avenue where I can share my passion for weather with thousands and thousands of people every day I come to work. The opportunity to visit schools across the Miami Valley to teach children about the weather is an added bonus. And seriously…getting paid for a hobby I’ve been into since I was 6 years old? You can’t beat that!

What do you not like about your job? When the forecast goes awry. While walking down the street, having to dodge tomatoes and other projectiles after a “change in the storm track” can lead to sprained ankles and general injury. My 40 yd. dash time has gotten better, however, so I guess a positive can be found in the matter.

What might people be surprised to know about you? I have a sometimes scary, hobby-like interest in Rock Radio. I used to work as a DJ at a rock station in Mississippi aside from my main TV weather duties. I also had a radio show all throughout college, spending the final year as Program Director of the station.

What is the hardest thing you ever did? Move to Mississippi from Pennsylvania on 2 weeks’ notice.

What would be a perfect day for you? Watching a flawless forecast of the “Big One” pan out. Then on my ride home from work, hearing on the radio that Soundgarden got back together.

What advice would you have for someone wanting to go into the business? Being on TV as a news or weathercaster is a responsibility. Become a part of the community you live in, and embrace the opportunity to meet the people who rely on you for the information you communicate on a daily basis. The reward is larger than any sized paycheck you’ll ever earn.

If you could only keep one 5-minute tape from your career what would be on it? A clip from Sunday, September 24, 2005 – Mississippi/Alabama Tornado outbreak from the remnants of Hurricane Rita.

 

Favorites

Favorite book: Mesoscale Meteorology (yes, it’s more of a text book)

Favorite CBS show: NFL and SEC football coverage

Favorite dream car: Anything with good gas mileage that doesn’t fall apart

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite hobby: Weather, sports (especially hockey), playing guitar, music in general

Favorite Miami Valley place: Oregon/UD District

Favorite movie: Office Space, Ocean’s 11, 12, and 13, Supertroopers, Beerfest

Favorite music: Hard Rock, Some Metal

Favorite travel destination: Miami Valley: Northern Logan County Elsewhere: Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama

Latest from Rich Wirdzek

30 Years Later - Looking Back At The Blizzard of '78

January 26th and the 27th are two of the most remembered days in Southwest Ohio winter memory. This weekend marks the 30th Anniversary of the Blizzard of ’78.12.2 inches of snow fell on January 26th, 1978 at Dayton International Airport, a record that still stands as the single greatest snowfall ...

 
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