From Irene in Apex

Posted May 14, 2011 8:13 p.m. EDT

As background, I moved to NC in May 1980. My preference for national news was ABC, so I decided to try the local ABC affiliate for local news, WRAL. I liked what I saw. I especially liked the weather coverage, because WRAL took it seriously.

I had moved from Morgantown, WV, where I lived for less than a year, and had never found a local station I really liked. I wasn't crazy about the news coverage on the WV-based stations. The Pittsburgh stations were better, but I didn't like the weather coverage. They all had an hour for local news at 6:00, and I would change channels to watch the national news at 6:30.

The one station that had a weather segment before 6:30 didn't take weather seriously. They treated it like a joke. I remember how, when the weatherman was predicting heavy rain, he had graphics literally showing it raining cats and dogs! Sheesh.

Being from Illinois, where weather matters daily for the farmers, we thought of the weather as a serious matter.

So I appreciated WRAL and its weather coverage. And I remember when Greg started, because I had been living here for about a year. He was always good at predicting the weather. And although he has a sense of humor and likes the puns, he always has taken the weather itself seriously.

As a weather memory, I still remember the day in 1984, a couple of days before the big tornado outbreak, that Greg was warning us that we might be in for really severe weather. He pointed out how all the elements for tornadoes seemed to be coming together. I especially remember him talking about how strong and fast the jet stream was, and that was the first time I remembered hearing how important that element was in producing tornadoes. (We considered Illinois tornado territory growing
up, and I had never heard that before.)

And of course, Greg was right, and we had that bad outbreak of tornadoes in the state. I also remember that it apparently drew so much attention outside the area, because a few months later when we were watching Jeopardy, his forecast showed up as a video clue!

Thanks, Greg, for 30 years of great forecasts, and we hope for 30 years more!