Q and A with Meteorologist Dan Pope from Utah
StormHourMark last edited by pavelneuman
Dan is Chief Meteorologist for KTVX & KUCW-TV (ABC4 & CW30) in Salt Lake City, Utah. Reporting on all things Meteorology, Astronomy, Geology and Photography!
What was your most memorable weather event?
Skiing at Alta, UT after 55.5” of snow fell in 24 hours on January 4-5, 1994. It was powder-fest perfection.
What is your favourite and least favourite type of weather?
Favorite weather has to be winter snow, especially when it falls with little wind, accumulating and covering everything…leaving pine trees and other things bending down under the weight of the powder. Then upon sunrise, I enjoy seeing a light fog as the bright sun illuminates the freshly fallen delight.
My least favorite weather is wind and heat. Wind is especially annoying, messing up my hair, blowing dust into my eyes or making it impossible to enjoy working in my yard, gardening and mending to the flowers and lawn. Heat is difficult to deal with.
Temperatures here in Salt Lake City, UT can approach or exceed 40 C/104 F. I can handle temperatures over 30 C/86 F, but 40 C is ridiculously hot. In Salt Lake City, UT we average 56 days per year above 32.2 C/90 F. It is a desert climate; and a dry heat, but it is always hot in the summer. My favorite temperature is 26.7 C or about 80 F.
The nice thing about Salt Lake City is its proximity to the mountains (where it is cooler) and where we have 13 ski resorts within 45 minutes’ drive. And, it is always cooler in the mountains.
If you weren’t a meteorologist what would you most like to be?
If I weren’t a Meteorologist, I would be an Environmental Forest Ranger, where I could be out in the mountains, enjoying their beauty every day and helping to improve the watershed, animal life and visitor experience…and where I could bring my camera along to take photos of everything around me!
From a purely meteorological point of view, where would you most like to live?
Meteorologically, my perfect place to live would be Anchorage, Alaska, where there is plenty of winter snow, long summer days, frequent Aurora, lots of mountains and so many places to explore and enjoy. The weather is always changing, and it is not hot!
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I started watching the weather carefully when I was between 4 and 5 years old. By the time I was 12, I decided I not only wanted to be a Meteorologist, but I wanted to be on Television. I followed my dream and have never looked back.
I love my job and enjoy my work every day. It is a difficult profession; bad work hours, extreme deadlines, severe scrutiny from your managers (and especially from the public). I’ve had to develop a “thick skin”, but I would not do anything differently.
When I speak to youngsters about planning for their life and profession, I always encourage them to get a good education and to follow their dreams…to do something they will enjoy for a job!