Karissa is the Director of On-Air Operations at WeatherNation. Karissa grew up loving math and science, but really fell in love with Meteorology while attending the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois. After two summers of storm chasing in the central plains, she knew that it was the career path for her. Standing in front of a thunderstorm and feeling the cool outflow knock her over was an experience she will never forget. After two years at COD, she transferred to Metropolitan State University of Denver. Karissa graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelors of Science in Meteorology. Her high school and college speech and meteorology professors were extremely supportive and pushed her to succeed. Before joining the WeatherNation team, she previously worked as the Morning Meteorologist at KCAU-TV in Sioux City, Iowa and at WMBD-TV in Peoria, IL. She recently was part of a National Edward R. Murrow award winning team for breaking news for their coverage of the EF-4 tornado in Washington, Illinois. In her free time, Karissa enjoys cooking and trying new foods. She is a self proclaimed ‘TV Junkie’ who can get into just about any show. She is a die hard Chicago sports fan who loves attending professional sporting events.
Q&A with Karissa Klos
What inspired you to become a meteorologist and pursue a career as an on-air weather caster?
I have always been a lover of science and math and an admirer of weather. When I was in college, I happened to take an Introduction to Meteorology class to fill a requirement. Next thing I know, I had found what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. With a background in speech and communications, broadcast meteorology seemed like a natural fit. It didn’t hurt that I am a TV Junkie either.
What is your most memorable weather experience?
Learning meteorology in the classroom is one thing, but there is no better way to grasp a concept than to be outside in the storm. For two summers, I roamed the plains with the College of DuPage storm chasing program. I will never forget the moment that it all came together for me. We were chasing a very large supercell thunderstorm that had great rotating structure. We were admiring its beauty, when a wall of strong winds hit us with cool air. I instantly knew that it was outflow. What was once just words on paper was literally hitting me in the face.
Outside of weather what are your hobbies and life interests?
You can usually find me in the kitchen baking something with chocolate or cooking a meal for my family. I love food. I also love to travel. My husband and I went to Rome for our honeymoon and it was the experience of a lifetime. And as I said earlier, I am a major TV junkie. My DVR is almost always full.
Besides your parents who has influenced you the most in your life?
Throughout my entire life, I have been blessed with amazing teachers. From a young age, they steered me on the right path. If it weren’t for a series of caring, intelligent, charismatic individuals going above and beyond, I would not be where I am today. There are too many of them to name here, but I hope they know the impact that they have had on my life and career.
What is a little known fact about you?
I have an irrational fear of haunted houses. I vividly remember going into a children’s haunted house when I was about three. I spent the entire time crying. I have yet to recover. I am not much fun to be around during Halloween. Needless to say, scary movies are also off the table.
What are your hopes and dreams for the profession of weather?
I am so grateful to be a part of the WeatherNation team. They are bringing something to television that is completely different than anything else out there. I hope to bring the folks at home a forecast they can trust. Television is the number one source for information when it comes to severe weather. I hope that we as profession can continue to grow our audience, save lives, and branch out to other types of media. Nothing is more important than taking care of our viewers and making sure that they are safe.