It hasn’t turned out to be the mega-snowstorm predicted, but it has brought national attention to Nebraska as one of the most recognizable faces in forecasting broadcast live from Lincoln.
Meteorologist Jim Cantore with the Weather Channel set up near “Q” street in Lincoln with the exit to I-80 and the entrance to Memorial Stadium in the background to report on what the Weather Channel dubbed Winter Storm Q.
And wherever Cantore shows up, crowds gather.
“Twenty-seven years ago if somebody ever asked me if a weatherman could have like rock star status, I’d probably say yeah, what are you out of your mind?” Cantore replied to Kevin Thomas with Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KLIN.
The crowds gathered and though Cantore says they often come at the worst time, he took time for them between broadcasts. In fact, on the air, Cantore reported he had received a record number of meals during the day.
While Cantore chose Lincoln, expecting Nebraska to receive the brunt of Winter Storm Q, it chose to veer south, hitting Kansas City especially hard. The snowfall totals for Nebraska have been steadily declining, while Kansas City got hit with 10 to 12 inches of snow as the storm raged through Kansas, then Missouri, now making its way to Illinois.
Cantore said technology has made weather forecasting much more accurate and has allowed weathermen to get much better information to people in a much quicker fashion. He sees it only getting better.
“There’ll be a day where if you’re holding your (smart) phone a message will come on and say, ‘A tornado is headed your way. It is in range within five minutes. Take cover now,’” Cantore said. “That’s where technology is going with this.”
Snow is expected to continue to fall in Nebraska throughout the evening, ending early Friday morning.