Spectrum has many great meteorologists, and we are very proud of what they have accomplished and what they bring to the table.
But, we want to take a moment to highlight News 13 meteorologist Maureen McCann. She has accomplished so much in such a short time in her career.
She is the only active, female, on-air meteorologist to hold all three seals at the same time. The AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal, AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist seal, and the NWA Television Seal of Approval.
She was also recently named an AMS Fellow which is an incredible achievement. The American Meteorological Society defines that accomplishment as “recognizing individuals that have made great contributions towards atmospheric sciences, related oceanic or hydrologic sciences, or their applications during a substantial period of years.”
We took some time to talk to McCann to learn more about how she came to achieve all she has done in such a short amount of time.
What inspired you to become a meteorologist?
I’m pretty sure I was born with an interest in weather, but I often attribute it to having to watch the news every night while having dinner with my family while growing up in the Boston area.
We always had WBZ on, and the weather with Bruce Schwoegler was my favorite part.
I would write him letters while in elementary school, and he eventually invited me in for a tour. Meeting him and seeing the station confirmed that I wanted to do that someday.
Throughout my childhood, I was always watching The Weather Channel and tuning into “A.M. Weather” on PBS before Sesame Street in the mornings.
I also had a fear of thunderstorms and thought I might be less scared if I was a meteorologist and was able to predict when they were coming.
Is there anyone you look up to in the field of Meteorology? Why?
I have had some great mentors along the way. There are too many to list them all, but one that stands is former Boston meteorologist Mish Michaels when she was on tv while I was in high school.
There were not many females on the air in Boston during that time, and she was kind enough to invite me into the station and let me job shadow her.
Mish is one of the main reasons why I wanted to pursue a degree at Cornell University since she had gone there for meteorology.
What is your favorite type of weather?
In Florida, I love the winter when we have sunshine, low humidity, and comfortable temperatures. However, when I am on vacation, preferably skiing, a good snowstorm!
What is the biggest weather event you’ve had to cover on television?
It was being a part of continuous coverage for Hurricanes Matthew and Irma. In Matthew, we were spared the worst of the effects since the eye passed just offshore, but our coastal communities were significantly impacted.
What I remember most about Hurricane Irma is, just a few days prior, I had become a homeowner for the first time. All those home-related hurricane preparedness tips I was talking about on-air, I had to do myself!
How do you prepare your forecasts?
When I come in at 3 a.m., the first order of business is making coffee!
After that, I look over various computer models and different sources of data to get a sense of the forecast. This information gets narrowed down to what our projected highs, lows, and rain chances will be.
I’ll take a look back at what the previous shift had forecasted and what was happening while I was sleeping that I may have missed.
I update the graphics and prepare what I will show on-air starting at 5 a.m. It is a fast-paced shift, so there is no time to be tired at that hour!
What certifications do you have and when did you get them?
- AMS Certified Broadcast Meteorologist- 2008
- AMS Certified Consulting Meteorologist- 2016
- NWA Television Seal of Approval- 2016
- AMS Television Seal of Approval- 2006
- Certified Instructor, National Disaster Preparedness Training Center- 2016
- Ham radio license- 2018
Why did you decide to pursue getting the Certified Consulting Meteorologist certification? How difficult was this to achieve?
Earlier in my career, the chief meteorologist at my station in Syracuse was actively involved in weather consulting, and he asked me to participate in a few of his projects.
My interest developed further when I was living in Texas and took on some wind and solar consulting of my own. At the time, I had entered grad school to study environmental and water resource engineering.
I had considered going for my CCM, but it wasn’t until 2015 that I started the paperwork to apply.
It is a challenging process but attainable with the right amount of preparation. There are only a handful of broadcasters that have their CCM, and I am honored to be part of this small group. I hope to see more broadcasters strive for this certification.
You’re the only active broadcasting, female meteorologist to hold all three seals of approval. How does it feel to have reached such a goal?
It is a very cool accomplishment. It was not something that I set out to do. They just happened over the course of my career. Pursuing each certification gave me a different challenge at different stages of my career.
What other accomplishments have you achieved?
I received my Master’s in Emergency and Crisis Management from the University of Central Florida in Spring 2020.
Upon moving to Florida, I became immersed in the hurricane preparedness culture and wanted to better equip myself to be a more effective communicator of hazardous weather.
I still have two more classes left to complete a Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Being recently named AMS Fellow tops the list. I was so surprised to get the news. I didn’t think I would receive this honor at this point in my career.
Some of my role models within AMS are Fellows; they have all made important contributions to our community and the science. I am beyond humbled to share a designation with these esteemed colleagues.
What is your favorite part of being a Meteorologist?
Being able to turn a hobby into a career. I’m very fortunate to have a job that never feels like “work.” It is a lot easier to wake up at 1:30 a.m. when you love what you do!
Are there any other fun facts about you that you would like to share?
- I have been to all 50 states
- I am ordained to perform weddings
- I have citizenship with Ireland which was obtained through descent from my Grandparents
What are some of your future goals in the Meteorology field?
It is to continue to have a career that I love and work in a field that I am passionate about. The field is always changing, so a goal is to always keep up with the science by continuing my education and expanding my network.
I also hope to encourage others to pursue meteorology! I was lucky to have some great role models along the way, and I hope that I can do the same for other aspiring meteorologists.
I always encourage those with an interest in weather to reach out to me. I’m happy to help!