I am very excited to be a part of the Storm Center 7 weather team here at WHIO-TV! Before joining WHIO, I was working for WBNS in Columbus where I was the weekend meteorologist since 2012. Prior to that, I worked right across the hall from WBNS as the chief meteorologist for the Ohio News Network (ONN) where I had been since 1998. During my time at ONN, I was able to lead our weather team to numerous Ohio Associated Press awards for "Best Weather Operation" in Ohio, including in 2009, 2010 and 2011. I began my career at WTVA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Tupelo, Miss., and then worked for KAKE-TV, the ABC affiliate in Wichita, KS. I have my degree in Earth Science with a specialization in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. I earned my American Meteorological Society's Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation. The AMS grants the CBM designation to broadcast meteorologists who meet established criteria for scientific competence and effective communication skills in their weather presentations. I also have my Seal of Approval from the National Weather Association and was selected in 2011 to sit on the NWA seal evaluation board. My hobbies include landscaping, watching college sports and playing around with my two “kids”, Jacob and Kira (my English Springer Spaniels. I also enjoy storm chasing if I am not manning the weather center. I started storm chasing in my teens but my real “adventures” began while working in Kansas covering storms in tornado alley.
No storm is ever exactly the same, and when it comes right down to it, the best part of my job—and the most important part—is helping people plan their lives and stay safe from the next storm.
I’m often asked what advice I would give to someone who wants to go into the business of meteorology, and I tell them: be ready for an ever-changing environment and ready to meet the challenges of delivering accurate, important news and weather information. Never lose sight of what is most important—be clear, concise and accurate. Someone’s life may depend on it.
- Where were you born?
- Where did you grow up?
- Florida, Colorado and Tennessee
- What was your favorite TV show then?
- Knight Rider & Dukes of Hazard
- What was the first thing you ever wanted to be?
- Honestly, I don’t remember every wanting to do anything else but be a weatherman. My mom says I was fascinated with storms when I was 3 years old.
- How might someone have described you in high school?
- What was your first job?
- My first job was selling popcorn at a local movie theater in McMinnville, Tenn.
- What was your first job in television?
- I was a weekend weathercaster at WTVA in Tupelo, MS making $5.00/hour.
- What do you like about your job?
- I really enjoy working in an environment where you see something different every day. Technology is always changing and no storm is every exactly the same. When it comes right down to it, my favorite part is helping people plan their lives and hopefully keep them safe from the next storm.
- What do you not like about your job?
- Sometimes despite the latest technology and advancements in forecasting, Mother Nature throws a curve-ball and the forecast doesn’t work out the way it was supposed to. This can lead to some not-so-friendly emails and messages, especially from kiddos who didn’t get that snow day they thought they might get! But that is part of the job.
- What might people be surprised to know about you?
- Just like Rich Wirdzek, I was also a DJ for a rock station in Mississippi, yet Rich and I never crossed paths until WHIO. I am also an amateur radio operator and can sometimes be heard by the call-sign KD4BNT!
- What is the hardest thing you ever did?
- Make a decision to let my beloved pet go after an illness.
- What would be a perfect day for you?
- After a nice, sunny day laying on the beach, watching a thunderstorm out over the water as the sun sets.
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to go into the business?
- Be ready for an ever-changing environment and ready to meet the challenges of how people get their news and weather information. Never lose sight of what is most important… be clear, be concise, and be accurate. Someone’s life may depend on it.
- If you could only keep one 5-minute tape from your career, what would be on it?
- Covering the storms that rolled across the state on November 10, 2002 while working at the Ohio News Network. This was the day of the destructive Van Wert tornado.
- Favorite Book:
- Does looking at Zillow on my iPad count?
- Favorite CBS Show:
- Favorite Dream Car:
- KITT from Knight Rider… or a Lamborghini would work.
- Favorite Food:
- My mother’s homemade lasagna!!
- Favorite Hobby:
- Landscaping and exploring new parks.
- Favorite Miami Valley Place:
- Does Kings Island count? I am sort of new to the area and looking for good recommendations!
- Favorite Movie:
- Favorite Music:
- There isn’t much music I don’t like really. Normally listen to pop or 80’s music.
- Favorite Travel Destination:
- Just about any warm beach! Seem to wind up near Cancun a lot when I can go.
Contact Eric Elwell