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Mike Brookins: WTAE, staff meteorologist/weather producer

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Age: 31.

Birthplace: Rochester, N.Y.

Years at WTAE: 3.

Mike Brookins

Previous broadcasting experience: WROC-TV, Rochester, morning/noon meteorologist; and WOKR-TV, Rochester, weekend meteorologist/weekday weather producer.

Weather training: Bachelor's in meteorology, State University of New York at Brockport; holds AMS seal.

Weather idol or model: John Hambleton, a local meteorologist in Rochester, where I grew up.. Way too often, television meteorologists use words like "chance" or "possible" but never really decide which path the storm is going to take. We get paid to make a forecast, and that's what he did.

Were you a weather geek as a child? I enjoyed watching thunderstorms roll through and the occasional eight straight hours of hurricane coverage on TV. But no pocket protectors.

How do you feel when you receive credit or blame for the weather? I try to be diplomatic. One person's great day with sunshine and 90s might be another's worst nightmare. The weather is the way it is.

Best weather call? My forecasting skills are superior in two events, hurricanes and lake-effect snow. You may have noticed how much I love to show tropical satellite loops during the summer/fall seasons.

Biggest miss? I don't miss forecasts. With my educational background and a keen hunch on what will fall from the skies, there are times when Mother Nature might have missed our newscast.

Forecasting -- art or science? Both! One reason I love working with Joe DeNardo is our weather discussions. Looking at the same data sources, we sometimes have slight disagreements. It is then when you have to use your hunch or meteorological experience. Since Joe is a very wise man, I still have some things to learn from him.

If it's a science, how accurate should viewers expect you to be? I don't like those 4-degree guarantees that some stations promote. I get mad at myself if I am wrong by more than a few degrees, but you must compare us to a baseball player or a stock broker. Does Mark McGwire always hit a home run? No. Have you ever heard of a stock broker who gave you all the hottest climbers on the market and was never wrong? No. This is an inexact science and will be for some time to come.

Vacation ruined by weather, blame? My wife and I decided to get away for a long weekend. Temperatures plummeted the day we arrived, and 2 feet of snow fell in just more than 24 hours. There was no travel by car. Fortunately, we could get around on skis as we were in Sugarbush, Vt. -- the best kind of storm.

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