We’ve all seen it. Some poor weather forecaster is forced to stand in horrible weather conditions to report on the obvious. The fact cows are flying through the air or rain is coming down sideways is enough of a clue that the weather is bad.
I asked Sam Champion — who jumped from “Good Morning America” to the Weather Channel — if he had ever been sent out on one of those kind of assignments that was so bad, he started to doubt his career choice.
The most notable of such assignments for Champion was Hurricane Dolly — a category 1 hurricane.
“It wasn’t supposed to be a big storm, but that thing shredded the building we were in. So I’m laying in the tub in the bathroom in the hotel that is being shredded around it. Broken glass and insulation and everything are flying under the door, and I’m laying there in the tub,” Champion says. “I’ve got the stuff to put over me in case the walls start to come down, and I’m like this shouldn’t be like this. This is not supposed to be happening with a storm of this strength.”
Champion learned that moment that even a minor storm can do major damage to a community.
There were a few other times he had his career doubts. Such thoughts popped up during coverage of Hurricane Sandy.
“Sandy was a storm that we were downtown in Battery Park for, and all of my friends had evacuated the downtown area and had moved to my apartment which is on the Upper West Side where they had power and wine,” Champion says. “And so the phone rings, and I’m in the middle of Sandy.”
It was a friend calling him to say that everything was OK where he was and he was missed. That call made Champion realize there are times when he feels like he’s in the wrong place but in the end, there’s nothing more he would rather do than stand out in awful weather.