Mike McCabe has been living his dream job for the past 24 years.
“For me, ever since I was a child, I’ve been intrigued by the weather,” said McCabe. “Especially severe weather, like thunderstorms or winter storms.”
As a kid growing up in Yakima, McCabe would watch the weather people do their forecasts on television.
“I thought it would be the coolest job to have,” McCabe said. “I would actually do the weather forecasts at school for my friends.”
It took McCabe a lot of years to become a forecaster.
“I kind of got in through the back door,” he said. “I started in production behind the camera in Yakima.”
He found an opportunity to get in front of the camera at KLEW in Lewiston, before eventually moving to the Tri-Cities. He strives to be an effective communicator more than a weather forecaster.
“I’ve wanted to have fun,” he said. “I started wearing crazy suits over the holidays about three years ago. I’ve got a lot of different suits now.”
McCabe’s family is from this region, and he loves living in the Tri-Cities. He also understands the competition is tough.
“I’m really amongst a great group of people, with Tim Adams and Monty Webb,” said McCabe.
McCabe says the technological changes over the last 24 years have been incredible.
“The forecasting tools they use now are pretty darn accurate,” he said. “I’m just the communicator. I communicate with all of these great tools we have.”
And make it easy to understand.
“The idea is to have fun and have a little sense of humor,” he said. “And I try to do it all in a way where it’s like I’m talking to my neighbor, or if I meet you in a grocery store. The challenge is to keep it fresh and new.”
McCabe, who unseated Tim Adams (a six-time winner), appreciates the award.
“My biggest challenge I have is to stand out, because people have all these resources to get their weather,” he said. “Other stations, apps on phones, computers. I appreciate that they chose me.”
1. Mike McCabe
2. Tim Adams
3. Monty Webb