Jeff Edmondson brings his meteorology career home with a new position at KARE 11.
Some people realize their career goals after many years of searching and indecision. Others grow up with a deep, lifelong passion for their chosen field. You could say that KARE 11’s newest meteorologist and Shorewood native Jeff Edmondson was born into weather. At least, he was exposed to the fascinating world of weather at a young age. “When Jeff was a baby, I bought mobiles that I liked with weather icons and planets and put them above his crib in his room,” says Jeff’s dad, Bob Edmondson.
Whether or not this early proximity to weather connected Edmondson to his future in meteorology, he certainly took an interest in the subject from a very young age. “In my fifth grade yearbook, they asked what we wanted to be when we grew up, and I answered ‘meteorologist,’” says Edmondson. “I was always interested in weather, especially my favorite season: winter.”
Edmondson continued to explore meteorology in any way he could while growing up. While attending Minnetonka High School, he joined the school’s news team, reporting on weather news, which earned him the moniker “Weatherman Jeff.” Edmondson still hears the nickname from time to time from friends and family in the lake area.
His passion for weather guided Edmondson’s decision to pursue studies in meteorology. He attended Iowa State University, which has one of the top meteorology and atmospheric sciences programs in the country. “We completed climate studies and examined how rain forms—it’s advanced and unique stuff,” says Edmondson. “While I was there, I even got to do some storm chasing, which was a big team effort in 2005 and 2006, because the technology wasn’t as advanced as it is now.” The chases involved a team driving out to find the storm, while another team member would stay back and watch the radar to alert the scouters to storm locations. In his free time, Edmondson connected with a different audience by moonlighting as a DJ for a college radio show featuring smooth jazz.
As his college days neared an end, Edmondson started looking for meteorologist job openings wherever he could, and found a listing in Duluth—and he landed the gig within an hour of his interview. A little more than two years later, he found his next position in Virginia Beach, Virginia, which took him away from his wintry home to a warmer climate out east. Edmondson says one of the draws was the opportunity to live near the ocean.
His time in Virginia gave him the chance to work both on the air and behind the scenes with research and graphics creation—not to mention getting the opportunity to hone his surfing skills. Edmondson also got very close to hurricanes in his time on the East Coast, and even covered Hurricane Sandy in 2012. He also received his prestigious American Meteorological Society Certified Broadcast Meteorologist Seal in 2014, which requires meteorologists to pass a knowledge exam and an on-air performance check. “The CBM seal says that you as a meteorologist can provide scientific and environmental knowledge for viewers,” says Edmondson.
Virginia was fun. But when a job opened up at KARE 11, Edmondson jumped at the opportunity to return to his hometown and his favorite chilly weather. Likewise, KARE 11 jumped at the opportunity to work with Edmondson, holding the position for him for several months as he finished up his work in Virginia Beach.
“Minnesota is home,” says Edmondson, “and my work with the KARE 11 team has brought a great variety of opportunities, like doing more scientific and environmental reports alongside my on-air forecasting. Plus, forecasting the weather where I grew up and in the surrounding region has been a blast.”
As a member of the KARE 11 weather team, which includes five meteorological experts, Edmondson’s average day involves looking at the current forecast and what the weather is likely to be doing in the following days; researching and reporting on science-related stories; and, of course, broadcasting on the 11 a.m. news.
“We look a lot at the weekend weather,” says Edmondson. “Everybody in Minnesota is always looking for information on the weekend.”
“At KARE 11, we all play a lot of different roles and work together as a team,” says Belinda Jensen, fellow meteorologist at KARE 11. “Jeff is a really smart guy, and it’s really fun to get a brand-new scientist who is willing to learn but is also someone we can learn from. He’s a go-getter and has a real passion for meteorology and astronomy. We’re really happy to have him on the team.
“Beyond the main goal of getting the seven-day forecast, there’s so many cool aspects to meteorology, surrounding nature, weather, climate, astronomy, biology and more,” Jensen adds. “Jeff continues to explore all of those other avenues, and will bring these stories to the table.”
When he’s not reporting the weather on-air or researching it behind the scenes, Edmondson is a big fan of unique outdoor activities. His newest hobby? Kite-boarding. “You fly a ten-meter kite with a wakeboard under your feet,” explains Edmondson. “It’s my new favorite sport, and I like to try it out on lakes outside of the cities. I used to surf, so I had to replace it with a new water activity.”
Edmondson also visits local schools to talk to students, and has already made several visits to Minnetonka schools. “In Virginia and here in Minnesota, I like to talk to elementary school students and teach them about weather safety,” he says. “We talk about winter storms and severe storms, especially tornadoes, in addition to simple concepts like the water cycle and how I put together my forecasts. School talks are fun, and I believe they’re very helpful to teach and remind students how to be safe during thunderstorms.”
Above all, Edmondson says it’s great to be back in the north. His dad, Bob, says, “It’s fun that the community is embracing him. He’s a hometown golden boy.”
Singin’ in the rain
Even on a blustery winter day, Jeff Edmondson looks sharp with his Gene Kelly-inspired umbrella and three-piece suit from the men’s style experts at J. Novachis.
Follow Jeff Edmondson on Twitter for weather updates and more: @jeffKARE11.