I am thrilled wake up early to be a part of the Storm Center 7 team as the morning meteorologist for Channel 7 and AM 1290/News 95.7 WHIO radio. Growing up in Cleveland, I was exposed to all that Ohio weather has to offer from strong storms to lake-effect snow. It made me curious at a young age to learn why we see the weather we see. That urge to challenge myself and find the answers is something I continue to work towards in each forecast. I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Broadcast News and a Meteorology specialization. I also completed Mississippi State University’s Broadcast Meteorology Certificate Program and then continued my education further to finish a degree in Geosciences with a concentration in Broadcast and Operational Meteorology. I am a member of the National Weather Association. In 2017, I am proud to say that I took home an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy award for my work on our team’s severe weather special, “Surviving the Storm.” We also took home a second place award for that same special in the “best documentary” category from the Society of Professional Journalists.
Right after graduation I accepted a job in Youngstown, Ohio at WKBN/WYTV as a weekend meteorologist and weekday video journalist. Forecasting for a region greatly influenced by Lake Erie was a wonderful challenge and helped me grow professionally. Between severe weather season and lake-effect snow in the winter, there was never a dull moment. If I’m not in the weather center I am probably outside enjoying the day or looking for a new restaurant to try.
- Where were you born?
- Where did you grow up?
- What was your favorite TV show then?
- What was the first thing you ever wanted to be?
- A singer and I have plenty of embarrassing home videos when I was young to prove it.
- How might someone have described you in high school?
- I think they would say I was friendly and motivated. I liked to challenge myself so I did everything from taking AP Biology to singing in our show choir. I made a lot of great friends through the years.
- Were you involved in any high school sports?
- I played fast pitch softball and was a cheerleader.
- What was your first journalism job?
- My first paid job was in Youngstown, Ohio at WKBN/WYTV as a weekend meteorologist and weekday video journalist. Northeast Ohio is a challenging part of the state to forecast for with everything from lake-effect snow to severe weather. First experience ever on-air was doing weather for our nightly newscast on the PBS-affiliate WOUB at Ohio University.
- What do you like about your job?
- I am never bored. Each day brings a unique challenge to the forecast and that’s exciting to me.
- What don’t you like about your job?
- You don’t always get to sleep as much as you’d like, especially during severe weather season, but the good out weighs the bad.
- If not working, what could someone find you doing on a weekend on your time off?
- Trying to cook something or taking a walk. I love being outside.
- What might people be surprised to know about you?
- I went zip-lining and loved it!
- What would be a perfect day for you?
- Taking a hike on a beautiful fall day then enjoying a new restaurant for dinner. I’m not a picky eater at all so I love finding new places to try.
- What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a Meteorologist?
- Make sure it is what you really want to do because weather becomes a huge part of your life. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing long hours won’t matter.
- Favorite book:
- Favorite CBS show:
- Favorite food:
- Italian, especially pizza
- Favorite hobby:
- Favorite movie:
- Favorite music:
- Favorite travel destination:
- Chicago. I go every year with my mom and it’s the highlight of my summer.
Contact Kirstie Zontini