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Jon Burnett: KDKA, weather anchor/staff announcer

Sunday, February 09, 2003

Age: 49.

Birthplace: Knoxville, Tenn.

Years at KDKA: 20 1/2.

Previous broadcasting experience: Weathercaster/feature reporter at stations in Louisville and Knoxville; co-hosted "PM Magazine" at WNGE-TV in Nashville, co-hosted "Evening Magazine" and "Pittsburgh 2Day" at KDKA.

Jon Burnett

Weather training: Bachelor's in theater from University of Tennessee; 17 years of on-air experience doing weather-related features, anchoring and live remote coverage; 12 years in Pittsburgh; three in Knoxville; two in Louisville.

Weather idol or model: My dad, a pilot, motorcyclist, biker, camper and self-professed "weather nut." I've become my dad.

Were you a weather geek as a child? Nope, but then I'm a slow learner. Look at me today -- a 49-year-old weather geek.

How do you feel when you receive credit or blame for the weather? Gratified that someone has taken the time to strike up a conversation in the first place. Obviously, I don't control the weather, but engaging someone in small talk about it is a kick; it means they're watching.

Best weather call? Bob Kudzma and I nailed the "Blizzard of '93." We started calling for that monster (24-inch snowfall) almost a full week in advance and came closest to predicting the correct amount.

Biggest miss? Had a couple of stinkers just in the past few weeks that I'd like to forget.

Forecasting -- art or science? Science, by far. But not an exact one. And, in fact, intuition and sound reasoning based on prior experience will always play a small role.

If it's a science, how accurate should viewers expect you to be? Probably never 100 percent, but in my lifetime, we'll get close.

Vacation ruined by weather, blame? No. ... I enjoy all kinds of weather, and it's the variety that keeps it interesting -- both professionally and personally.

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