A Day in the Life of a TV Meteorologist
POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 3:24pm
UPDATED: Thursday, March 27, 2014 - 3:51pm
My career and weather are a large part of my life
Thurday, March 27th, 2014 — I woke up thinking about all the things that i do that go into being a TV Meteorologist, There have been many duties added to my job description over the past 20 plus years I have been doing television weather casts. may 29th will mark my 19 year anniversary here at NewsChannel 9, KTSM-TV, NBC, El Paso, Texas! Social media has added much more work to keep the public informed and up to date in a variety of media. Face book, Twitter, Mobile access to websites has added more work, but value to you the consumer.
I am always asked on Face book, emails or in person about “What do you do all day?” “How did you become a TV Meteorologist?”, “How do you forecast the weather?” “Do you do your own weather graphics?” Or people assume things and say “ You have an easy job” or “You have the only job where you can be wrong everyday, and still have a job” . Now, we know that is not true! Well you can read my biography to find out how I got into weather and became a meteorologist “Weather Talk” "Why I Became a TV Meteorologist" http://www.ktsm.com/weather/weather-talk/why-i-became-tv-meteorologist
I thought in today’s “Weather Talk” I would answer of people’s questions by describing my typical work day.
8:30 to 9:00 A.M.. - I get out of bed and turn on my computer and go straight to the NWS El Paso website, http://www.srh.noaa.gov/data/obhistory/KELP.html , check the hourly weather observations and look the official low temperature so far at the El Paso International Airport. I also check out Las Cruces, New Mexico and other cities temperatures and weather conditions. I want to see how close my forecast low temperatures are compared to the actual ones. Right off the bat this should tell you how much of a “weather geek” I am!
9:30 to 10:00 A.M..- I enter in the next weeks forecast numbers from 10 different computer models and sources into an Excel program which gives my an average high and low for the next 7 days. Then I look at all the forecast weather, wind speeds, rain%, cold fronts or upper level disturbances moving in , ridges of high pressure building over our region, etc… I put all that down on my forecast page.
10:00 to 10:30 A.M.. – I then write my weather scripts for the evening weather cast. Now, weather is the only segment where everything is "adlib” , I like to call it a “conversational weather speech” about the next week’s weather. The FCC, Federal Communication Commission, is the government agency that watches over and makes sure Television and Radio stations follow certain rules and regulations that they have set in place over the years. These rules make sure the broadcast stations serve the specific needs of the audience and that there are some morally acceptable standards for everyone to follow. With all that being said, we have to a script for everything that is said. These words are put on the “Closed Captioning” that you can activate on the bottom of the screen. This is mainly for the hearing impaired. What I say in weather is not read off a script like the news or sports anchors, but it has to be close. I write my “First Forecast”, my before commercial break “Weather Teases”, my “Full Weather” and my “Final Forecast scripts.
10:30 to 10:45 A.M..- I then need to put some protein and carbohydrates into my body so I can think better for next endeavor.
10:45A.M. to 12:30 P.M..- I research and then I write my Monday through Friday daily “Weather Talk” blog for KTSM.com. http://www.ktsm.com/weather/weather-talk , like I am doing at this moment.
12:50 to 1:20 P.M..- I shower , get ready, hop in my suit!
1:20 to 1:30 P.M..- I drive to work. Many times I stop to take some quick weather photos that I use for my Face Book posts and weather casts along the way!
1:30 to 1:40 P.M..- I give a quick verbal weather briefing to all the news producer’s, news anchors and MMJ’s, multi media journalists and managers in our daily afternoon new meeting.
1:40 to 2:00 P.M..- I put in my scripts in their appropriate spots in the newscast program.
2:00 to 2:25 P.M..- I write a few sentences about our upcoming weather and post them with a weather picture I took that day on my 3 Face Book pages; News Channel 9 www.facebook.com/NewsChannel9ElPaso , my professional page Charles Debroder www.facebook.com/pages/Charles-DeBroder/ , and my semi private page Chuck DeBroder www.facebook.com/chuck.debroder
2:25 to 3:05P.M.- Is my catch all time period if I did not finish any of the previous steps, I do it now, I also build two weather computer forecast graphics, “El Paso Tonight” and “El Paso Tomorrow” . I put them in a slide show called my “rundown” on my on air computer and tell the studio production people and the director I am ready to shoot my afternoon “web weather”.
3:05 to 3:25 P.M.- I shoot my ‘web weather” It is recorded by another computer between 3:00 and 3:30 P.M. so I have to finish it in that time period.
3:30 to 3:35 P.M..- I grab my coffee cup and Robert Bettes, Chief Meteorologist for KDBC-CBS 4, (who works right next to me) and wego brew and fetch a valuable cup of Java!
3:35 to 3:45 P.M.. I cut and edit my “web weather” and drop it in a folder for ktsm.com. I then put that on the ktsm/weather section off our website.
3:45 to 5:00 P.M.- I now become somewhat of a computer graphic artist. I enter in all my forecast high and low temperatures, wind speeds, sky conditions, etc… into my weather graphics computer, which update the specific images in my weather rundown or power point type if you will. I also draw on all the high and low pressure systems, upper waves, cold, warm and occluded fronts, low pressure toughs, etc… on a few weather maps. These maps are also part of my on air presentation.
5:00 to 5: 30 P.M..- We are on air! NewsChannel 9's first evening newscast. and I give the first forecast :30 to :45 seconds, a weather tease :08 seconds, my full forecast 2:30 minutes and a final forecast :30 seconds live on the air.
5:30 to 6:00 P.M.. - I add the official high and low times to my El Paso Climatological graphic and I format my 6:00 P.M.. show. I check and answer email, update social media.
6:00 to 6:30 P.M..- NewsChannel 9 at 6 starts. I give the first forecast :30 to :45 seconds, a weather tease :08 seconds, my full forecast 3:00 minutes and a final forecast :30 seconds live on the air.
6:30 to 7:00 P.M.. NewsChannel 9 at 6:30 is now rolling! I present a weather tease :08 seconds, my full forecast 3:00 minutes and a final forecast :30 seconds live on the air.
7:00 to 7:30 P.M.. I cut and edit my 5 P.M.. Weather cast and put that up on www.ktsm/weather . I close down the weather programs and leave to dinner
7:30 to 7:39 P.M..-Drive home
7:39 to 8:50 P.M..-I eat dinner and relax
8:50 to 9:10 P.M..-Drive back to work, talk to my parents on the phone in Colorado
9:10 to 9:30 P.M..-More social media updates and posts
9:30 to 10:00 P.M..- I research any new weather information and set up and update my 10 P.M.. weather cast graphics
10:00 to 10:30 P.M..- I give the first forecast :30 to :45 seconds, a weather tease :08 seconds, my full forecast 3:00 minutes and a final forecast :30 seconds live on the air.
10:30 to 10: 50 P.M..- I cut and edit another one of my weather casts and post it on www.ktsm/weather. I then update the text on ktsm.com. I gather my stuff, shut off all the weather slide shows, prepare the weather center, and put the weather remotes by the on air computer fro the Mark Mathis, the morning Meteorologist for NewsChannel 9 today. Then, I am out the door!
10:50 to 11:00 P.M.- Drive home
11:00 P.M. to 12:00 A.M.- Relax and watch TV.
12:00 to 8:30 A.M-. Sleep!
Now this is my ideal schedule. There are some days where I have to speak at a school, I work out or go pay some bills. Even with extra activities thrown in, I still have to accomplish everything I wrote in the schedule above. I love my career! Yes it is a very big part of my life. I hope some you now realize that the TV business is not just what you see the news, weather and sports anchors do during the 19 minutes you see them on the air during a 30 minute newscast. There is a whole day of preparation that goes into their presentations.