This past week, the city of St. Louis, and surrounding metro area had our first real taste of winter. You know, that white stuff falling from the sky? Finally, we had some. From my understanding, it was the first “measurable” snowfall in almost a year’s time. In other news, last year (2012) has gone down in history as the hottest year on record for the city of St. Louis.
While the cold weather was busy unfolding before our eyes, something else altogether made me take notice. One of the metro area’s news station, Channel 4 / KMOV’s 4Warn Storm Team was busy at work. According to KMOV’s website, The 4Warn Storm Team is made up of Chief Meteorologist Steve Templeton, Meteorologist Kent Ehrhardt, Meteorologist Matt Chambers, and Meteorologist Kristen Cornett. I listened or watched the TV, while also following them on Facebook and Twitter. When the cold weather started, the predictions started along with the ever-changing weather. Just as vacations were being taken, and the team was filling in for each other, I sat back and just watched. As this particular cold front promised lots and lots of snow, then changed to very little snow, then perhaps more yet, so many people were quick to judge the weather man. They are quick to say how they don’t know what they’re doing, and always get it wrong…all because elements of weather (beyond their control, I might add) changed.
I watched and realized something that became very powerful to me. These guys, and weather teams across the country and the world, do what they do because they enjoy it. They are very good at what they do, but they cannot control what the weather does. They do sometimes get the facts wrong…but I’ve noticed – they get them right far more often than they get them wrong.
What really got to me, though, is the fact that they are there – many times, when the weather is uncertain or downright dangerous. They are always there. Even when it means taking precious time away from their family, they are there. When it means late nights, or early mornings, they are there. When, God forbid, there is a natural disaster, they are there. When the weather gets rough – this station goes into what’s called “4Warn Storm Mode” and when I see that, my heart swells with some sort of pride. I have much gratitude for these men and women who – without question – stay up all day and all night just to keep us safe. When I want to know what’s going on, I know I can look to them, and they’ll have answers – to the best of their ability – to keep us safe. That, my friends, is very much a job well done. I had the opportunity to ask Steve Templeton why he does what he does, and if there was anything he’d like to say to those watching/reading. His response was from the heart, and to me was priceless:
…I hope people know that we do care about them, their safety during storms and their plans which often are ruined or made wonderful by weather. We do our best to be as specific as possible to help people plan around weather. At the end of the day, it’s predicting the future, not easy, but I love what I do.
I have watched Steve and his fellow teammates alike during winter storms and tornadoes, and whatever weather is thrown this way. Their presence and guidance speak volumes as to their character. They do what they do, often without much gratitude, simply because it’s their job – and it’s something they love to do.
To anyone from KMOV, or any weather person nationwide, please know you have my gratitude. From my family to yours, thank you. You are very much appreciated.