If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me ‘what is the weather going to be today?’ I’d literally have tens of dollars. But, it is a reality I am faced with with every severe weather season and with any threat of moisture that comes out of the sky. I suddenly become everyone’s go-to person because I am married to the
weatherman meteorologist. It’s like they think I am privy to secret weather information; that I’ll be able to tell them the exact time, wind speed, accumulation, etc. that will hit their house that day.
April and May in Oklahoma are my least favorite months for various reasons, including:
- I don’t see my husband
- There is no such thing as a schedule (see previous blog here.)
- I suddenly need to act as media spokesman for the friends and co-workers to educate everyone on what to expect for weather events that day/week.
- My phone blows up with “Is there going to be a tornado?” “Do I need to seek shelter?”
But what you don’t know is on severe weather outbreak days my husband is doing 12-15+ hour long days, prepping, chasing, forecasting, phoning into the station, working behind the scenes literally answering all the questions viewers want to know. There is no time for him to tell the storm “hold on so I can text my wife and let her know what the weather is in her backyard.” From me to you, I might hear from him once or twice on a severe weather day simply as a status update, otherwise I have to watch the news just like everyone else.
My advice to you is, turn on the news, the
weathermen meteorologists will give you the most accurate information and will break it down by the minute and literally tell you if it’s going to hit your house or not. The behind the scenes action is incredible on severe weather days. While you see one to two weatherman meteorologists on air, there are double to triple the people behind the green screen, looking at new models coming in, getting viewer photos to share, communicating with the chasers, creating new graphics, etc. Then you have all the storm chasers out on the road following every single major storm cell to inform the viewers exactly where it is and where it is going. All 3 major stations in Oklahoma City have helicopter pilots that are on the storm to provide a birds-eye-view of what the storm is acting like. And all of that are only the storm teams! This doesn’t even go into the newsroom and all the reporters and anchors and what they are putting together to inform everyone what’s happened when a storm blows through.
I’ve asked Aaron if he could so kindly take a break to text me if a tornado is headed towards our neighborhood, or at least give me a personal shout-out on air, he said he could do that, so to any friends we have in the surrounding area, I will do my best to text you personally if there is a need to worry. But again, my advice to you is be prepared. Have your storm shelter ready, or have a safe room to go to in your home, don’t go driving around running errands if you know a storm is headed your way, have a weather radio, download your favorite local station’s weather apps, and tune in to the local channels see exactly what’s happening.
Given that today is the first snow day this season that Oklahoma has had, I thought it’d be appropriate to present you with the 5 stages of a snow day as told by viewer comments, and then me:
- Denial and Isolation
Viewer: “I’ll believe it when I see it.”
Me: “Hey, Aaron, is it really going to snow?”
Viewer: “Rule of thumb: Whatever is predicted by OKC Meaty Urologists, we’ll actually get 1/10th of that. So, we’ll get about 1/10th of an inch here in OKC.”
Me: “What do you mean you have to work extra hours!? It’s only 1-2 inches!”
Viewer: “Can I please get a snow day for work?”
Me: “If they have you work extra hours, can you get an extra day off?”
Viewer: “I am so ready for summer!”
Me: “I guess the dogs and I will catch up on some Netflix. I’ve been meaning to watch every episode of Mad Men in one block of time.”
Viewer: “I love the snow, hell if it’s going too be cold, it makes it even better w/ the snow!”
Me: “Yay, Netflix!”
I’m not sure how much snow we’ve actually gotten as I’ve done today what I’ve always done when watching local news, where I watch it and it goes in one ear and out the other, but I like to base everything off of the amount of snow the dogs bring into the house, so I’m guessing we’ve gotten like 10″inches or so. The reporters are all standing outside freezing their butts off reporting on driving conditions on the 1-2″ we’ve gotten in the metro, it’s pretty much looking like this out there:
Yay snow days!
Many people come up to me and ask me what it’s like to be with a husband that is on TV. “It must be so glamorous” they say. “I bet you get a lot of perks!” they chant. “I saw him on TV last night and this morning, whats up with that?” Ding, ding, ding! There we go, my first real question about the ‘perks’ of being a TV
weatherman Meteorologist. Once you actually start watching the news as much as I do, you seriously start noticing the crazy schedules that the weathermen Meteorologists have.
weatherman Meteorologist will have a ‘schedule’ of sorts for the position they have at their station. There is the Chief weatherman Meteorologist that works prime time nights, the Morning position is self explanatory where they will work the morning shows, then you will have other positions that work the weekends, noons, sister stations, etc. All of them will eventually have to fill in for another weatherman Meteorologist with or without sufficient notice. Someone will undoubtedly get sick, have a family situation pop up, car problems, work an extra shift the previous day and be able to make up time by getting someone to pick up a shift they were scheduled for the next day, etc., etc., etc.
While the rest of us work our normal Monday-Friday 8am-5pm job, TV
weatherman Meteorologists can work any of the 7 days of the week, morning, afternoons, nights, split shifts, 12 hour long shifts, no shifts, 6 hour shifts, studio shifts, live shot shifts, tag-teaming the studio shifts, tag-teaming live shot shifts, babysit storms that may or may not develop shifts, making new graphics shifts, school talk shifts, new computer training shifts, 10 days in a row shifts, 15 days in a row shifts, holiday shifts; yes, I can keep going, but at this point, you get it.
I feel like I’m living in the movie “Office Space” sometimes. Aaron will literally work his butt off for 8 days in a row (refer to shifts above), he will FINALLY get a day off and he’d have to go in for TPS report training (if you don’t understand what I’m referring to, stop reading right now and watch the movie “Office Space”- and while you’re at it, watch some episodes of “The Office”- and you might as well watch the movie “Twister” just to keep up with my bloggisms):
Just to give you a peak into the “Brackett” life here is what Aaron’s schedule was this past week:
Saturday: 2:00p-7:00p, dinner break, back in at 8:00p-11:00p
Sunday: Worked on graphics in the morning and afternoon, came home for dinner, went back to do 10:00 show after the football game was over-the show was delayed because of the game, so therefore, he got home after midnight.
Monday: Training from 8:00a-4:00p
Wednesday: “Talent Training” at 5:30p-6:30, “graphics” meeting after that, came home for dinner, went back into the station at 10:00p, stayed overnight to create graphics, came home at 5:30am.
Thursday: OFF- but still went into the station to make sure graphics made a smooth transition
Here is what his schedule should ‘normally’ be:
Thurs-Fri: Split shift 9am-1:00p, 9:00p
Sat-Sun: 5 or 6:00p, 10:00pm
…As a wife, I’m over here like:
How do you plan a life when a “schedule” isn’t really a “schedule”?
I’m sure at this point, you have been with your significant other on a date night, their phone makes a noise so they open it to take a look, you roll your eyes because they shouldn’t be looking at it in the first place, you ask them to put it down, and you move on with your night. I don’t get this luxury. When a
weatherman’s Meteorologists phone goes off, no matter what occasion it is, they legitimately have to look at it.
Aaron literally has too many weather apps to count on his phone (OK, whatever, I counted 11; but still, you get my point). There is one for radar, one for the Mesonet, one for the NWS (National Weather Service), and some other really nerdy ones that don’t even make sense to me when he opens them. Regardless, he needs to look at his phone for incoming storms to know if he has to book it into work or if he needs to post something on social media so his viewing audience knows what is about to happen.
Besides Aaron looking at his phone all the time, we also can’t do normal activities without weather being brought up. We went to an OKC Thunder game the other night and verbatim he asks me, “Why do you think they didn’t play with the whole “Thunder” word more with the logo? Don’t you think it would look cool if they had a
lightening lightning bolt in it?” My answer to him was, “Because they wanted to be a classy team and a lightening lightning bolt would be corny.”
Not only did we have to discuss the lack of a
lightening lightning bolt being on their logo, but he also had to analyze the fact that the Chesapeake Arena would not be an ideal building to be in during a tornado. In case you were wondering the fact that it’s a big, steel building that fits 20,000+ people is what makes it unfit to be in during a tornado.
oh yea, we also had to talk about the impending doom of a tornado hitting the city. “It’s not if, but when.”
Now that you are thoroughly scared that a tornado will inevitably hit OKC, I can tell you the fact that I couldn’t even go through my wedding day without hearing about the weather. Yup, we had an entire table at our venue, actually, 2 tables now that I think about it, filled with
weathermen meteorologists. To say that they all share a special bond wouldn’t express the amount of “brotherhood” these guys share with one another. There was an impromptu karaoke song that broke out in the middle of the reception where the Beach Boys song “Kokomo” came on. In our hometown of Rockford, Illinois the weatherman Meteorologists made a parody of “Kokomo” by inserting local counties into the lyrics “Way down in Winnebago.” (Shout out to Mark Henderson <WIFR> and Eric Sorenson <WQAD> for writing the lyrics and blessing my wedding day with the following:
“…baby why don’t we go down to Marengo we’ll get there fast and then we’ll pay a toll, that’s where I wanna go, way down to Winnebago.”
Fun times? Yes. Weather related? Absolutely. Do I expect to hear about weather on a daily basis? Unfortunately.
These are just a few days in the life of being a wife of a
weatherman Meteorologist. On a day-to-day basis I talk about weather more than any other person naturally would, but I still have to ask my friends and co-workers what the weather is going to be that day because when Aaron tells me it honestly goes in one ear and out the other because I’m unsure of when I actually need to listen 😉 You can’t blame me though because I literally can’t go one day without talking about the weather.