By Alex Herbst ’15
On April 4, Charlie Lopresti ’00, chief meteorologist at WGME in Portland, Maine, spoke to students in Professor Brendon Hoch’s Broadcast Meteorology class. As meteorology major, I had the opportunity to attend his presentation. Charlie presented vital information about one of the most competitive components of a career in meteorology—television.
Charlie began his broadcasting career at WVII in Bangor, Maine, continuing his passion for forecast meteorology that he developed while at Plymouth State. This passion eventually landed him at WLNE in Providence, Rhode Island, though he’d return to Maine and his current station, WGME. Charlie has been designated a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and was awarded Best Weathercast for the past four years by the Maine Association of Broadcasters.
I’ve wanted to be a television meteorologist since I was in second grade. I’ve always had a huge fascination with weather—storms in particular, how they form, and how they impact people in different ways. Charlie’s visit to campus only further affirmed that desire. Charlie helped me realize that it’s about more than the science when broadcasting live— it’s about presenting complicated information in a manner that viewers can understand and enjoy.
What I felt was most inspiring about Charlie’s presentation was his emphasis on the responsibility he feels to accurately report on major weather events. Whether it’s a group of severe thunderstorms or an impending hurricane, reporting accurate and timely information can be the difference between life and death. That responsibility can be a lot to handle, but Charlie showed us how he’s been able to effectively manage those situations, through his on air experience and expertise. By presenting himself in a calm and collected manner in the face of dangerous weather, he is able to most effectively communicate to people what they need to know, as soon as they need it, like during Hurricanes Irene and Sandy.
My classmates and I appreciated that Charlie took time to come back to campus and visit us, and share his stories of success in a field we all hope to enter in the future.