Erin Jordan - Tucson News Now

Erin Jordan

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I have always been interested in both science and television, but while in college the thought of becoming a meteorologist never even entered my mind.  At Miami University of Ohio, I majored in both Botany and Communications.  When graduation day was looming I had a decision to make.  It was either go to graduate school for Botany or take a job offer as an editor at a television station.  I took a chance on the latter knowing I could always go back to school.  Little did I know that first job in television would soon point me towards the career I was always meant for but just didn't know it.  Eventually I would go back to school, but it wouldn't be to study plants. 

I moved to Greenville, NC to become a video editor at WNCT.  The year I worked at that station was the year Hurricanes Dennis and Floyd hit the east coast within weeks of each other.  The results were devastating.  Widespread flooding put much of eastern North Carolina under water.  Communities became islands and WNCT stayed on the air for 5 days straight covering the destruction of homes and displacement of thousands of families.  It was then that I realized working in television really could save lives.  I saw my coworkers, most notably the meteorologists, give out information that helped people survive the flooding.  It was then that I decided to pursue a career in meteorology. 

I transferred to WFLA in Tampa as a video editor and enrolled in an online broadcast meteorology program at Mississippi State University.  A few years later, I moved to Duluth, MN to become a Weathercaster at KDLH.  It was a little cold for my taste (moving from Florida and all) but I couldn't deny the beauty of the area.  The North Shore of Lake Superior is striking but I would suggest a summer visit.  While there I forecasted everything from severe storms to snowstorms that dumped over 2 feet of snow.  I'll never forget the day I first saw thundersnow.  Yeah, you read that right.  If the conditions are just right, a blinding snowstorm can also be accompanied by thunder and lightning.  It was one of the weirdest things I have ever experienced.  A little over a year after my arrival, KDLH merged with another station in the Duluth area, KBJR.  For a few months I continued my work as a Weathercaster at KBJR.  I then had the opportunity to move to WSAZ in Huntington WV.  While there I completed my schooling and continued my work as a Meteorologist, earning the American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval. 

Now I am in Tucson, AZ and very happy to be here.  Years ago, I took a college trip across the United States doing community services in a variety of cities.  Some of those cities were located in the desert Southwest and that is when I fell in love with this dry and diverse environment.  The lack of greenery makes some people think there isn't much to the desert, but of course those that live here know differently.  The desert abounds with interesting plants and animals.  There is endless beauty in desert and I am excited to finally experience it firsthand.  My two cats, Ollie and Minnie, don't quite get to experience it firsthand but they do enjoy sitting at the sliding glass door watching birds build nests in my backyard Mesquites.  And Athena, my adorable dog adopted from Pima County Animal Care, loves to chase the bunnies and lizards running through the yard. 

At present I am also enrolled as a PhD student in Arid Land Resource Sciences at the University of Arizona.  It's an interdisciplinary program that allows a student like me to build their coursework around their interests.  I am focusing on flood vulnerability in the Southwest, climate science, and science communication.  For the 2010-2011 school year I was also a Biosphere 2 Science and Society Fellow.  This included producing a video for Biosphere 2 that is on display there and at Flandrau Science Center on the University of Arizona campus.

As a Meteorologist at KOLD my goal is to help you plan your day.  I forecast for the way you live.  From a morning jog to wedding plans, you'll find what you need to stay on top of anything Mother Nature throws your way.  I also like to keep in touch with what's going on the area.  Feel free to e-mail me events and outings that are going on across the region.  And of course photos are always great too.  Keeping in touch with everything in Tucson is only possible with your help. 

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