New WHIO-TV meteorologist got an early start in studying weather

Published: Sunday, June 28, 2015 @ 12:05 AM
Updated: Sunday, June 28, 2015 @ 12:05 AM


            Eric Elwell
            Ty Greenlees
Eric Elwell(Ty Greenlees)

Eric Elwell

 

  • Age: 42
  • Education: Bachelor’s degree in geosciences/broadcaset meteorology from Mississippi State University
  • Certifications: National Weather Association seal of approval, American Meteorogical Society certification

 

Experience:

  • Weathercaster, WTVA-TV in Tupelo, MS., 1993-95
  • Meteorologisit, KAKE-TV in Wichita, KS., 1995-98
  • Chief Meteorologist, Ohio News Network, Columbus, 1998-2012
  • Weekend Meteorologist, WBNS-TV, Columbus, OH, 2012-2015

Eric Elwell’s fascination with weather began at an early age.

While other 3-year-olds would be more inclined to hide under the covers when a thunderstorm rumbled through, Elwell would gaze out of his window, waiting for the next lightning strike and the ensuing thunderclap. By high school, Elwell said he was “the nerd weather geek” who could identify every type of cloud formation.

On Monday, June 29, Elwell joins WHIO-TV’s StormCenter 7 as chief meteorologist. His first weather segment for WHIO-TV is scheduled during the 6 p.m. Monday newscast.

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Elwell, 42, comes to Dayton after serving as a meteorologist in Columbus for 17 years, first as chief meteorologist for the Ohio News Network from 1998-2012, then as weekend meteorologist for WBNS-TV since 2012. Before his Columbus experiences, he served as meteorologist for a television station in Wichita, Kansas and as a weekend weathercaster in Tupelo, Mississippi while attending Mississippi State University, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in geosciences/broadcast meteorology in 1995.

“I don’t remember ever wanting to do anything else,” Elwell said of his profession. “This is more than a job to me — it’s my hobby, and it’s my passion.”

Ohio weather has its idiosyncrasies, as any resident of the Miami Valley can attest. “Big snow, big tornadoes, big ice storms — we get it all,” Elwell said.

Elwell has kept close tabs on this region’s weather since starting in Columbus in 1998, since weather systems tend to track west to east and Dayton’s weather can be Columbus’ weather in an hour or two. His experience in Columbus has led Elwell to believe there’s something to the conventional wisdom that the I-70 corridor acts as a line of demarcation for many weather patterns, especially in the winter.

During his stint in Kansas, Elwell engaged in some “storm-chasing” in the name of weather research when powerful cells swept through the state. He has seen three tornadoes relatively up close and personal, each one rumbling through open fields and doing little damage. The experience left him with heightened respect for Mother Nature’s power.

Elwell will blend his training and experience with a knack for social media to give viewers and web surfers insights that go beyond the forecast. The meteorologist launched the Ohio News Network weather department’s Facebook, Twitter and other social media pages. And at WBNS-TV, he has developed and produced a series of web videos called “Behind the Weather” to explain forecast models and weather phenomena on social-media outlets.

The study of weather has seen significant advances in technology, especially in forecast models, Elwell said. But he acknowledges meteorology remains “an inexact science.” While technology has given meteorologists many tools to predict weather outcomes based on what has happened under similar conditions and patterns, that technology has its limitations, Elwell said.

“At the end of the day, the weather is going to do what the weather is going to do, even though we do have a lot more technology now to help us figure it out,” Elwell said.

WHIO-TV also has added Brett Collar — a graduate of Central Michigan University who worked most recently at KLTV-TV in Tyler, Texas — as weekend morning meteorologist. Collar started last weekend.

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