Question 1. What was your most memorable weather event?
The "Friday the 13th" Windstorm on Nov. 13, 1981. I lived in Coos Bay, Oregon as a kid and that was the first real storm that got me interested in weather. Winds hit 80-90 mph that night near our home (over 120 mph recorded right along the coastline), which was surrounded by trees. My parents had been out to dinner that night and we were with a babysitter when it hit. Trees were falling everywhere. They made it home safely and we all slept in my tiny room because it was the only room in the home that didn't face trees. We awoke to find massive trees down across our road and were essentially boxed in for a couple of days. My father was a search and rescue pilot in the Coast Guard and one of his colleagues was killed during that night's storm when their helicopter crashed attempting to rescue fishermen trapped at sea.
Close second was a severe thunderstorm while visiting relatives in Ohio at 13 -- my first ever severe thunderstorm experience! And. It. Was. Terrifying. But kept the weather interest going.
Question 2. What is your favorite type of weather?
Favorite: Our typical Northwest November stormy days with drenching rains and gusty winds. Or just give me a rainy day at 52 degrees. If needed to be outdoors, turn it down to a drizzle. Maybe toss in a little fog.
Least Favorite: Sunny while 80 or hotter. (I know, Northwest wimp!) My Twitter handle denotes I'm "Spokesperson for Seattle's rain fans" and it's true. There are a LOT of us around here who like the gray, rainy days over the summer sunshine. I've taken multiple polls and it comes out about 35-40 percent feel the same way. Not a majority, but a pretty solid minority and I'm sure higher than any other city would come up with.
Question 3. If you weren't a meteorologist, what would you most like to be?
I probably would have ended up in advertising. I love humor writing and have always loved creative commercials. When I was a kid, my friends and I would spend hours with our bulky camcorder making commercials and short films. If only YouTube existed back then! The original Energizer Bunny commercials where the bunny broke into what appeared to be actual advertisements is still among my all-time favorites.
Question 4. From a purely meteorological point of view, where would you most like to live?
Hmmm.... I've lived in the Pacific Northwest for about 95% of my life, with just a short stint in North Carolina in junior high -- long enough to really hate severe thunderstorms! I know - most mets CRAVE severe weather; I'm OK with the wimpy type of thunderstorms here. But as someone who likes the rain and hates the heat, I'll say right here in Seattle -- or maybe like the Ketchikan/Southeast Alaska area because I would like it to snow more often here and it rains even more up there. Or maybe northern Vancouver Island if it were easy to live in Canada as they get brunt of the Pacific Storms more frequent than Western Washington.
Question 5. Is there anything else you'd like to share?
I'm one of the few people who work as a meteorologist for a TV station...who is not on TV (way too shy!) I started here as a weather producer ages ago but as the internet became a thing, I focused on writing weather just for the web and it's blossomed from there into me writing the daily online forecast for a major web page, as well as my own weather blog. I'm hoping that while my job still seems quite unique these days, there will be a growing demand for people who can write about weather to a mass audience without having to be on TV as a requisite. I know dozens of meteorologists have their own weather blogs out there that have fantastic content and just need a light shone their way.
If you are interested in being a Featured Meteorologist on StormHour please contact mark @ stormhour.com or via DM on Twitter