Meteorologist Jim Cantore

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By Jim Bova on March 7, 2014, 12:00am Last modified: March 10, 2014, 10:15am

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Image credit: The Weather Channel.

Back in late July of last year I contacted Jim Cantore about doing an interview for WXedge.com. I thought him being born in Connecticut, I would be a great fit. He replied that I need to get with the Weather Channel people and he gave me an email. I sent an email to the person at the Weather Channel and was very surprised that Jim wanted to do a phone interview! After a couple of missed opportunities and my wife having a surgery, we finally got together. Here is our conversation.

I guess the first question is probably the most asked, what made you want to be Meteorologist?
I think people that love weather just love it. Sometimes they go into it as a career, sometimes they don't. My Dad said, "Son I really think you really need to go study the weather. You are like a freak when it snows." He also said, "you have to get up [each day for] the next 50 years, you better love what you do.

Where did you attend college?
Lyndon State College in Lyndonville, Vt. For the past 10 years, I have taught Broadcast Meteorology there. These kids are so really good right out of the gate. We have a very nice program up there.

On this the 30th anniversary of the Weather Channel, did you ever expect it to become as big as it has?
No! Now the challenge is, how do you stay this big? There are literally thousands of ways to access current and forecast weather information. Even though technology has been good for business in more ways than one, it has also hurt the eyeballs. How do you keep the eyeballs coming back to the Weather Channel? My answer to that is no one does weather like we do when there is a storm.

How do you feel being an American Icon? Do you feel like an icon?
It's kinda cool actually to have comics written about you and spoof you on comedy shows. You don't expect this jovial weather guy to be cool. We can be scientists, we can knowledgeable people, and you kinda put a personality with some knowledge together and you have a home run.

How do you feel about all the songs written about you and not usually in the positive?
Al Michaels calls me Dr. Doom and I take that very well. I love it because it's like look, if I can show up in a situation where you really need to be taken out of harms way and that's what does it, you can say I'm leaving Cantore here, especially when it really is a situation that people should leave from, then I am fine with that.

How many more years do you see Jim Cantore getting beat up by storms?
I don't see it ending anytime soon. Will my job change a little bit, yes, but I like the opportunities I get with like NBC Sports, the Olympics and Sunday Night Football. Do I need to be out there for every 3” snow storm? No, but I will be there for the big ones.

I would guess you have been very fortunate in meeting celebrities and famous people, who is the most interesting person you have met?
A lot of people I have met are not famous and that I really enjoy. It is the police and firemen that I am on these disasters with. I get chance to meet my colleagues at the National Weather Association conferences. They are just great people. I love the National Weather Service. We are all on the same team. I love being able to interact with those guys and gals.

Any words of advice for those that are considering Meteorology as a career?
Look, I am going to tell everybody the same thing my Dad told me, you gotta get up for the next 50 years, every day of your life. You better love what you do. So, if you really love Meteorology...it is not about the dollar. It's about loving what you do and realize this: Do your job well and you will actually make a difference in peoples lives and actually save lives. That is a wonderful feeling at the end of the day. You hate that it has to get to that, but with Mother Nature it does. That is the reality of the area that we live in, in the United States, but that's what we do.

I wish to thank Jim for taking the time to do this. It was a huge pleasure to speak with and I hope to someday get to shake his hand for doing this.

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Jim Bova

Town: Stratford, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since February 2013.

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