As Hurricane Matthew pummels Florida and threatens Georgia and the Carolinas, UNC Charlotte meteorology alumni are tracking and reporting on the hurricane in this first week of October.
These alumni are drawing upon their professional experience and also what they learned in classes and internships as they earned their bachelor’s of science degrees in meteorology in the Department of Geography & Earth Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.
Among the alumni who are forecasting and reporting on the hurricane:
- Garrett Bedenbaugh is a First Alert Meteorologist for WJAX- Action News Jacksonville. He anchors the early evening and late newscasts on Saturday and Sunday on CBS47 and FOX30 Action News Jax. Bedenbaugh joined the First Alert Weather Team in May 2014. He began his career as a meteorologist at the local FOX affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina in 2012. Bedenbaugh tweets at: https://twitter.com/wxgarrett
- Kaitlin Wright is in Myrtle Beach at WPDE. After graduating, Wright first took a job at WTEN, in Albany, New York before joining WPDE. “I had a professor my first semester at UNC Charlotte and he would forecast and broadcast the weather every day at the beginning of class,” Wright says on her station biography. “He was so passionate and energetic about the science that it compelled me to learn more about the major. Thanks Terry (Shirley)!” She tweets at: https://twitter.com/wxkaitlinw
- Jonathan Weant works at WCTI in New Bern, NC. Weant joined the WCTI StormTrack 12 team in August 2013 as the weekend morning meteorologist and weekday reporter. After college, he moved to Lubbock, Texas, where he worked at KCBD-11 as the morning associate producer and filled in for weather. From there, he moved to southern Texas and became the weekend meteorologist and weekday reporter for KGBT-Action 4 News before joining WABG ABC 6 in Greenville, Miss. as the morning meteorologist. He tweets at: https://twitter.com/JonathanWeant
- Ricky Matthews is at WCYB in Bristol, VA, and is reporting from that more inland location. Matthews is the weekend morning meteorologist at News 5 WCYB. While in college, he interned at WTKR NewsChannel 3, Time Warner Cable News and NBC Charlotte. Growing up on the coast, he has experienced several hurricanes including Isabel in 2003, Irene in 2011 and Sandy in 2012. The communication issues that existed with Sandy peaked his interest in the social science of weather. He tweets at: https://twitter.com/WCYB_Ricky
- Chris Justus is working this storm too from a more inland perspective, as a member of the team at WYFF in Greenville/Spartanburg area. Justus started his career in Savannah, GA, before moving back to Charlotte to work for the FOX affiliate where he covered the deadly historic tornado outbreak of 2011 and some of the worst flooding in Charlotte history. He then moved to the FOX affiliate in Nashville, TN where he forecast and saw firsthand numerous tornado outbreaks. He was nominated for a regional Emmy in 2013 for his coverage of deadly Tennessee tornadoes. He tweets at: https://twitter.com/ChrisJustusWYFF
Words: Brittany Algiere | NASA Earth Observatory image by Joshua Stevens, as the hurricane made landfall on Haiti on Oct. 4, 2016.