We in eastern North Carolina are dealing with a tremendous loss. Yesterday morning, just after I posted my review of Archangel’s Shadows, I learned of the passing of Skip Waters, the chief meteorologist at WCTI, the local ABC affiliate. Skip worked there for 32 years. I don’t remember a time when he wasn’t there.
Skip was our go-to weatherman. We watched the other channels, sure, but when it was important, when there was a hurricane coming, when there was a tornado on the ground, we always turned to Skip. If you heard on another channel that it was going to snow or ice, you’d immediately change channels or tune in to the next broadcast to see what Skip had to say about it.
While tracking storms, he would zoom in on an area with the radar and start naming tiny little towns most people’d never heard of unless they lived there. He would name back roads and obscure bridges out in the boondocks, say that this was where this old store is, or that gas station, this restaurant. It was amazing and so very reassuring.
He’d been here a long time and was familiar with the vagaries and rhythms of Eastern North Carolina weather. Skip wasn’t afraid to go against the forecasts of the National Weather Service or the National Hurricane Center. He’d show us the tracks they forecasted, the model runs, then tell us what his gut said was going to happen. He said that Arthur would come in around Cape Lookout even when the official track for the NHC was saying Cape Hatteras. Skip was right. He wasn’t always, don’t get me wrong, but he’d still step out there, give us his educated opinion and then tell us why he thought this was the way it’d go.
I remember, when we were in elementary school, back in the mid to late 1980s, Skip took part in my sister’s class play. I vaguely remember him in a stereotypical yellow raincoat, complete with matching hat and galoshes, playing the weatherman in their play.
He will be missed by all of us. My condolences to his family and his colleagues, past and present, at WCTI.