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Articles / Two True Weathermen

Most of the time, they are just talking heads on TV who you put up with to get the forecast. Most of them are just biding their time, paying their dues, until they get their "big break" and can go on to "real journalism". But every once in a while, you come across a broadcast meteorologist who not only loves weather, but lives weather. I've lived in 10 different television market areas that I can remember; and I've seen them come and go in each market. But there are two who have stood out.

After more than thirty-five years, Tom Wills is still doing the weather on WAVE-TV 3 in Louisville KY. A year after we moved to Louisville, he started at WAVE-TV in 1969 doing the 11pm news. Now, as Chief Meteorologist, he's doing the weather in the morning. He also teaches meteorology at the University of Louisville (I wish he had been doing that when I went there).

He was my inspiration throughout high school. When I was a junior or senior in high school, I wrote him for advice, asking how I could best prepare for a career in meteorology (best summer jobs, best high school classes to take, best colleges, etc.). I think I was hoping there was some kind of internship or "gopher" job I could get at the station. I still have the long, personal, encouraging letter he wrote in response. I may have gotten sidetracked from a career in meteorology; but, I did at least get my Atmospheric Science M. S. degree from the same university he did, Colorado State University.

Here is his official bio from wave-3.com:

Chief Meterologist Tom Wills grew up in the town of West Reading, Pennsylvania. (That's in Berks County, which also sent us Kentucky pioneer, Daniel Boone!) By the time he was six or seven, Tom knew that "the weather" was going to be his life's work. A fascination with radio and television allowed him to combine the two into his career. Thunderstorms and snow were weather events which fascinated him the most as a child, and they still do! Tom did research into tornado formation and developed a tornado forecasting technique while gaining his graduate degree.
After obtaining meteorology degrees from Penn State and Colorado State, Tom joined WAVE 3 as a broadcast meteorology pioneer in 1969. He's been forecasting our ever-changing Ohio Valley weather ever since. From rain to snow, floods to droughts, severe storms and tornadoes to calm, record heat to record cold, and many, many pleasant days in between, Tom's been keeping us informed about our weather.
Today, as Chief Meteorologist for WAVE 3, you can catch him on WAVE 3 News Sunrise from 5:30 - 7:00 am, local cut-ins during NBC's Today Show and on WAVE 3 News at Noon.
In his spare time, Tom teaches meteorology at the University of Louisville. He also loves to follow the ups and downs of U of L's athletic teams (and also the fortunes of Penn State, Colorado State, and the St. Louis Cardinals). Gardening veggies and flowers is his favorite hobby.

Larry Cosgrove handled the weather for WB 17 in Philadelphia PA when we moved there in 1993, and remained there until 1997. His all-too-brief forecast segments (news directors never seem to realize that the only reason to watch the local news is to see the weather forecast!) showed his true depth of knowledge; and his enthusiasm for snow events endeared him to me for life. His enthusiasm and the fact that he correctly predicted the blizzard of ’96 days before anyone else… so that I was able to buy a snowblower the day before more than 2 feet of snow piled up on my 100 foot driveway!

Off camera, he is very personable and sincerely enjoys helping others… spreading his love and enthusiasm for the weather whereever he goes. He alone of all the Philadelphia-area TV weathercasters was willing to come out to the Downingtown area (about 45 miles east of downtown Philly) and speak to a group of elementary-age homeschoolers about weather and forecasting. He also arranged a tour of the WB broadcast facilities for our homeschooling co-op, which he personally supervised… even letting the kids deliver their own “forecasts” in front of the blue screen and watching themselves point to weather images they could only see on the monitors.

Larry is currently Chief Meteorologist for News 12 Connecticut (cable-only) and the author of the WEATHERAmerica Newsletter, a discussion dealing with the forecasting of weather extremes throughout the United States and Canada. He is also a weather risk consultant for financial and legal firms. I found the following information in a speaker bio for the October 2006 Forbes Risk Management Forum in New York NY:

Larry Cosgrove is a native of the Philadelphia, PA area, and graduated from Temple University in 1976. Being a broadcast meteorologist has allowed him to sample much of the weather around the entire United States. After doing graduate work in meteorology at the University of Kansas, Larry worked in Duluth, MN, Chicago, IL, Lafayette, LA, Ames, IA, Columbus, OH, Cleveland, OH, Fort Myers, FL, Philadelphia, PA, and in the New York City area at WWOR-TV from 1997-2002. Larry Cosgrove has called News 12 Connecticut's Weather Center his home since February 2003.
One of his passions in life is storm chasing. Larry has been known to drive many miles through rainstorms, blizzards, and hurricanes, and has witnessed seven tornadoes. His favorite weather memory is the President's Day storm of 2003, which left 32 inches of snowfall at his residence in northern New Jersey.

Larry has since moved to Sugar Land, TX, (just outside Houston) and now focuses on meteorological consulting for energy investment firms; keeping them apprised of the futures for energy spikes or lulls with long-range forecasts. Fortunately, he also still puts out a weekly WEATHERAmerica newsletter, with special issues when interesting or dangerous weather is expected.

He has a webpage at weatheramerica.net. His Houston area forecasts and WEATHERAmerica newsletters are available at examiner.com, where he also maintains a large Weather Links page.

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