ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Chief Meteorologist Glenn Zimmerman is celebrating more than 30 years at FOX 2. The St. Louis native looks back at when he was hired and shares stories about his coworkers over the years. Glenn also reflects on the major weather events St. Louis has experienced in the last three decades and what he loves about his home city.
What is it like to forecast St. Louis weather for three decades?
“Well, St. Louis is a challenging weather town. It’s got all of the seasons that are amplified to extremes, so we get big heat, we get big cold, we get big thunderstorms, we get big snows and everything in between, so it’s always a challenge but that’s what makes it fun to work here.”
What are the major events that you remember?
“I think the big one that jumps out is the flood of ’93. It was a severe weather event that lasted for months literally months. Every day you’d come in and you’d deal with severe weather in the flooding sense and it was just a devastating time but one that, you know, we’ll never forget.”
What makes your job fun?
“I think being a meteorologist is universal because people think you control the weather or, you know, or that’s the joke is that ‘Hey, you’re the meteorologist, can’t you fix this?’ So that’s, that’s always fun, but, you know, I just tell people I’m in sales, not production.”
What about your co-workers?
“I never thought that Dick Ford liked me, and one time, one snowstorm, I was predicting nine inches of snow with this next storm and he kept giving me you know that cross-eyed look like this is not going to happen. When it did actually happen, I felt like he finally accepted me like ‘okay, you know what you’re talking about’ and you know that was a, that was a milestone for me.”
What happens when people recognize you?
“People very rarely recognize me, they recognize my voice which I think is strange but they’ll like be looking down and hear me talk and then look up and go ‘oh, I know you!’ Or, and this happens a lot, I’ll walk into the grocery store and as you’re walking in somebody’s walking out and they see your shoes and they say ‘oh, I know those tennis shoes, you’re the weatherman,’ so it’s more the shoes and the voice than it is the face, or the hairpiece.”
How has forecasting the weather changed over 30 years?
“I’m just a big proponent of the team. It’s not about me it’s about us this is a department this is a weather group a group of meteorologists and with a combined knowledge of forecasting experience of over a hundred years here in St. Louis I mean how can you beat that?
We’re able to use a lot of really great technology now to tell that weather story in a way that’s changed I mean dramatically in ten years changed dramatically in twenty years and even before that when we were, you know, we had printers with maps and the printers would give us all these maps and charts and things and we’d hang them up. I mean it’s all now, you know, computer-based and while there’s still that human element into the forecast to be able to tap all this technology has been a great way to tell the story and to, you know, ultimately give people a picture of what the weather’s going to do.
I think there’s a relationship between the fact that I’ve been here so long and the fact that this is my city. I mean this is, I love St. Louis, and I love everything about it, and even the bad stuff, it’s still my city and it’s that’s just all of who I am.