Aaron Shaffer was born in the Chicago area and grew up in Minneapolis. He first declared he was going to be a meteorologist at about the age of five years old. All through elementary school, middles school, high school, and then college, Aaron would talk about his future as a meteorologist. While in college Aaron had the chance to take an accelerated approach to his meteorology degree - which paid off with a job at a private forecasting company prior to graduation.
After working as a private forecaster, Aaron moved to Wyoming for his first on-air job as morning meteorologist for the NBC affiliate in Casper, Wyoming. From there Aaron went on to become the chief meteorologist at the NBC affiliate in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It was after this that Aaron got to fulfill one of his long-time dreams as a meteorologist: being a storm chaser and on-air meteorologist for the Fox & CBS affiliates in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. During his time in Iowa, Aaron went on over 30 storm chases, and saw about 15 to 20 tornadoes. None of them more impressive than a mile-wide wedge tornado in southern Minnesota in June of 2010.
While he has loved his past jobs - the opportunity to come to WeatherNation was one Aaron just couldn't pass up. Don't worry, though, because he says he still plans to chase storms on the side!
Education, Awards & Accreditations
B.S. in Atmospheric & Oceanic Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Awards: Part of an Emmy-nominated weekend news team in Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Questions & Answers
Q: What is a surprising fact about you?
A: Maybe this isn't that surprising, due to the nature of my job - but as a middle schooler I went to Space Camp at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
Q: What is your biggest fear while storm chasing?
A: Everyone thinks tornadoes would be the scariest thing about chasing... but that is actually not the case. As a meteorologist we examine all layers of the atmosphere before embarking on the chase, and typically know within about a 20-30 degree margin of error where the storms will go once they strengthen. My biggest fear as a storm chaser is amateur chasers. You'll often see amateur storm chasers stop in their tracks in the middle road to take pictures. Sometimes you'll come up over a hill on a highway and there will be someone stopped. That, and flooding on the roads are the scariest part of storm chasing.
Q: What is your favorite food?
A: If I had to pick one food item it would be steak. I absolutely love a good steak. If I had to pick a type of food it would be tougher - but very likely would be Mexican or Cuban food. I love the spices and the variety.
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