Meteorologist, AMS, NWA
Metropolitan State University of Denver where he earned a degree in Meteorology with honors and later went on to earn a second degree in communications.
Mike Morrison grew up in Colorado and his love of outdoor activities helped to pique his interest in the weather. After high school, Mike took a year sabbatical to travel, hitchhiking to Alaska and was ever more intrigued about weather patterns across the globe. Mike started his career in broadcasting as a Chief Meteorologist for KJCT-TV in Grand Junction, Colorado. From there, Mike went on to serve as the Chief Meteorologist for stations in Corpus Christi, Texas, Toledo, Ohio, and Albany, Georgia. Mike’s hope for his career was always to get back home to Colorado, and in the spring of 2015, Mike relocated to Colorado Springs, Co. for a short stint at KOAA-TV before being hired as a lead meteorologist at Weather Nation. Mike has been awarded Seals of Approval from both the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society. Mike has also won two awards from the Colorado Broadcasters Association for Best Series or News Feature and for Best Children’s Series. Mike has always been involved personally in the communities he works in and has volunteered extensively with groups that promote mentoring of children. Organizations that Mike has volunteered with, the Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Clubs of America, Partners of Mesa County, The Jim Tuttle Memorial Foundation for at risk youth. Mike has held positions on the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and The International Studies Elementary School a charter school offering the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Program in Albany, Georgia. Mike loves being back in Colorado where he can pursue many outdoor and mountain activities.
Q&A with Mike Morrison
What inspired you to become a meteorologist and pursue a career as a broadcast meteorologist?
From a young age, I enjoyed math and physics as it helped me to understand the world around me. I’ve always liked to “fly kites” and when I was growing up my dad would help me and my siblings fly large kites on incredible long tethers. The main help we needed from my father flying kites, was not so much in getting the kites airborne but in retrieving them in time for dinner with the help of an improvised electric spool. My time flying kites (an activity I’m still encouraged to do from time to time) was often trying to figure out how the wind was made. Further study was needed and achieved but flying kites was the small catalyst and inspiration in a career as a broadcast meteorologist.
What is your most memorable weather experience?
I have had many great weather experiences from tornadoes, to blizzards, to hurricanes or just bright sunny days but one in particularly sticks with me.
It was mid summer in the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming on a climb to summit the Grand Teton itself when an unique experience occurred. In the days before, myself and a friend were to make our ascent on the Grand I was residing at the Grand Teton Climbers’ Ranch of the American Alpine Club near the base of the Tetons. From that vantage point, I was able to study the daily pattern of thunderstorms, that like clockwork would initiate daily, high up in these mountains. I concluded from my studies that for our ascent, a night approach was best with a before noon summit and a quick retreat to beat the storms on the mountain. A check of the weather forecast on the day of our approach confirmed that this would be the best plan. Mother Nature of course was not informed of our scheme and had plans of her own. At about 7am on the day of our climb, we were nearly to the summit on the Owen-Spalding Route when the first clap of thunder set the skies to dumping. Heavy rain and large hail were our surprises from this untimely storm but there was also the abundant cloud to ground lightning. Our premature and immediate retreat was intermixed with lightning strikes that would hit the mountain near us, travel through the ground and be realized in our feet through the wet sides of our climbing boots. At a minimum, this felt like a shock from a home outlet, but more so, we found ourselves in a life threatening situation. Others were not as lucky as us and a few climbers were struck and injured that day from lightning. We were able to lend what aid we could to two climbers that were struck and hurt. One of the climbers we helped kept repeating, "Hey, do you think you can" over and over as the lightning had certainly affected him adversely. We heard he survived and I became more interested in the tremendous and varied damage a lightning strike can have on the human body. After our decent we made a bee line to civilization and a few hours later I was very surprised to hear tails of our adventure described in great detail from people who were not even on the mountain that day. News travels fast in the Tetons.
Outside of weather what are your hobbies and life interests?
The mountains are my first love. Growing up and living in Colorado gives me many opportunities to enjoy what the mountains have to offer. Skiing, hiking, mountain biking, climbing, boating, and snowmobiling are a few of the ways I like to recreate and enjoy the great outdoors.
Besides your parents who has influenced you the most in your life?
I would have to say certain teachers, especially those through elementary and junior high school. Not all of them of course, but those special few that could spark my interest and understanding of math and science, for which I am thankful for to this day.
What is a little known fact about you?
I've performed the Heimlich maneuver to save a persons life.
What are your hopes and dreams for the profession of weather?
My hopes and dreams are being realized being a part of WeatherNation.