By Adrianna Thompson
Senior Staff Writer
Chasing developing thunderstorms with the Hurricane Hunters and capturing video of lightning striking the airplane is hardly a day-to-day occurrence for meteorologist Greg Fields. But those kinds of adventures do come with the territory for a meteorologist in the fifth-largest media market in the U.S.
Monday through Friday, Fields rolls out of bed at 2 a.m., jumps into his car and heads to the studios of WFAA-Channel 8 to start preparing the weather reports for the day’s broadcast.
From 5 a.m. to noon, Fields’ weather forecasts move across the screens of viewers across the Metroplex. And after wrapping up the broadcasts each Tuesday and Thursday, Fields steps out of the spotlight and heads to Brookhaven College to teach a meteorology course.
But those who have never heard him tell the story of how he first started studying the weather would never imagine this meteorologist was once afraid of thunderstorms.
When Fields was 8 years old, a “super outbreak” of tornadoes ripped through his hometown of Lexington, Ky. Until this past spring it was the worst tornado outbreak in the U.S., with 148 tornadoes touching down across 13 states. He remembers his family watching the weather reports on TV before their power was knocked out. “A few of those touched down close to home,” Fields said, recalling the storm. “I was terrified that night.”
The next morning, after Fields woke up, he walked around the house checking to see if everyone was OK. He then found his mother and asked her questions about the weather, sparking his interest and going on to learn what he knows today.
Fields mentioned at that time he gained a fear of the weather, which only encouraged him to study more about it.
In choosing to learn about the weather, Fields studied physical geography and meteorology at Western Kentucky University. He began his career in meteorology in 1989 in Lexington before moving to Tyler, Texas; Tampa, Fla., and Kansas City, Kan. before landing a job in Dallas with WFAA-TV in 1998.
Fields’ work earned him the American Meteorological Society’s “AMS Seal of Approval” as well as respect from many of his viewers and peers. Cynthia Izaguirre, co-anchor of News 8 Daybreak, said, “Greg is a revered member of our community.”
He started teaching at Brookhaven in 1999. Susan Reinke, geology lab coordinator, said, “Students seem to respond to him very well.”
Fields said he strives to make his class understandable to the students and teach them something that is interesting and informative. Student Mia Williams said, “He teaches the way a third grader will understand it; I love the class.”
Fields frequently takes his meteorology students on a field trip to tour the WFAA-TV studios, showing students exactly how he does his job.
Williams said when she heard about Fields’ course, she jumped at the opportunity of being taught by a “real-life meteorologist.” She also said, “That is what I want to be.”