WBBJ Chief Meteorologist Tom Meiners Announces His Departure
JACKSON, Tenn. — Storm Team Weather Chief Meteorologist Tom Meiners announced his upcoming departure from WBBJ-TV on Monday, November 30th. His last day with the station will be Friday, December 11th. We asked him about his time in West Tennessee and what has planned for the future!
Q: What have you loved most about your work while at WBBJ-TV?
A: I have loved interacting with our viewers! I get excited when a neighbor asks me for the forecast in the grocery store or when I have an opportunity to teach students about how snow forms. When it comes to weather, I love sharing my knowledge with anyone who’s willing to listen whether that means helping our audience plan their day or when there’s a chance to teach them something new.
Q: You’ve been with WBBJ-TV for over 8 years now. What’s bringing your time in West Tennessee to an end?
A: After my wife and I had our daughter back in June of 2019, we started to feel an even stronger desire to live closer to family. I grew up living only 10 minutes away from my grandparents on my mom’s side and my dad’s side and I’m hoping that our daughter can get to visit her’s more often. That’s been a powerful motivating force in our decisions but it comes at a high price. We’ve put deep roots down in West Tennessee for these last several years and it’s become more clear this year especially that leaving means we leave the family that we made here in West Tennessee.
Q: Do you plan to still work in television?
A: I do! My desire to be near family is only matched by the passion I have for broadcast meteorology. I’ve been offered a position as an on-air meteorologist with another TV station closer to the East Coast and I’ll be sharing more details on that in the days to come. I’m looking forward to a new challenge!
Q: Do you have any other plans or goals you’re working on besides your career in broadcast meteorology?
A: Recently, I’ve been working on developing skills with full-stack web development and I’m nearing the end of my first online course. I hope to use my background in science to implement user-friendly tools for both meteorologists and weather-enthusiasts alike! I think the pace of technology is laying the foundation for an exciting era of weather forecasting including how those forecasts are shared with the public.
Q: What is something your colleagues probably didn’t know about you?
A: After I graduated from North Carolina State University, and right before I started working at WBBJ-TV back in July of 2012, I briefly had a temporary job working for Cornell University at one of their extensions on Long Island. I helped write grant proposals and worked on GIS projects. On Fridays, we spent the entire morning and afternoon on the Long Island Sound. My team and I worked on a lobster trawler dredging the sound floor for old lobster pots that had been abandoned by fishermen. We got caught in a severe thunderstorm at sea once and I’ll never forget it. While I wouldn’t trade working as a broadcast meteorologist for anything in the world, I look back on those Fridays fondly.
Q: What will you miss the most about West Tennessee?
A: I recently took part in a discussion among other broadcast meteorologists in the country in which we talked about what made our viewing area unique. Most of the responses were about food and the outdoors, and while I have learned a new standard for what makes bar-b-que good and have visited 12 of the 14 state parks in the area, I don’t think either necessarily make West Tennessee unique. To be quite honest, it is the people – I have never met a more hospitable society in my life! In the last +8 years that I’ve worked in West Tennessee I have been taken care of when I’ve been sick, encouraged when I’ve felt down, and been flooded with love when I’ve needed help. I will miss our church family at Cornerstone Community Church most of all, and will no doubt be coming back to visit them every once in a while.