By D’Asha Davis
A panel of WABC-TV’s meteorologists shared experiences of what it’s like delivering forecasts in the Metropolitan area in response to abnormal and extreme weather conditions.
Panelists Amy Freeze, Lee Goldberg, Bill Evans and Jeff Smith addressed students, faculty and community members in the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center Theater on Monday, Oct. 30 to explain the ways in which they are able to prepare fast and accurate forecasts – especially when reporting on extreme weather conditions. In addition, the experts discussed whether or not New York has become better equipped to handle large and unexpected weather conditions.
The event was originally planned for Tuesday, Sept. 19, but was rescheduled due to heavy rains brought by Hurricane Jose. It brought a lively crowd to Hofstra’s campus. The room seemed to be filled with fans and individuals who enjoy learning about the weather. Many were excited to see the meteorologists they have been watching all of their lives on the big screen.
“I am a big fan of Channel 7 news. My father and I always watch it and I have grown up watching these people. These people have actually, through Sandy and all of the storms, they’ve been by our side and just to see them in person and see them interact with the fans and everyone that came out today, it is a really exciting experience,” said Bradley Clarke, a junior television production major.
Celia Earl, a junior journalism major, said, “I’ve practically grown up watching ABC News with my parents and I figured this would be a great opportunity because as a broadcast journalism major you always want to learn from the best and I feel like ABC is probably one of the best in the industry. I got a chance to meet some of the people who I see every single day and ask them questions.”
Many of the attendees were also able to get answers as to how weather in the future could look, as well as its consequences. Demetri Mercer, a freshman journalism major said, “I learned a lot that I didn’t know. I learned more about global warming and how it affects these events and I just learned how the weather is going to be coming up. With all of the storms taking place and how much devastation has actually occurred from those storms.”
Saundra Thomas, the vice president of Community Affairs for WABC-TV, said, “My goal in bringing them here was to remind the Long Island community how much WABC-TV means to its viewers and to bring information to Long Island in particular as we go into this winter season and making sure people understand weather and are prepared for whatever the weather is going to be as we get into the winter.”
Thomas also said, “We’ve actually been to Hofstra before. We really like coming to this community and one of the reasons we choose Hofstra is because we like partnering with universities and colleges. It’s great public relations but is also good publicity for the university, and they are an excellent partner.”