University of Miami, Master’s Degree in Atmospheric Science
University of South Carolina, Bachelor’s Degree in Marine Science
Viki was born in Stuttgart, Germany and later moved to the United States, where she grew up outside of Chicago. Her love for weather came from spending summers on Lake Michigan. She headed to the Southeast to study marine science and physical oceanography at the University of South Carolina. While at USC, she volunteered as a University Ambassador and tour guide. From there, she headed to the University of Miami where she completed her Master’s in Atmospheric Science. Before moving to Colorado, Viki worked as a meteorologist in Rockford, IL at WREX-TV.
Q&A with Viki Knapp
What inspired you to become a meteorologist?
Weather has always played an important role in my life. Growing up sailing on Lake Michigan, it was important to know the winds, lake conditions, and potential for severe weather. In the winter, I always kept an eye on the snowfall forecasts for the Rockies and crossed my fingers for a good ski season. It was a natural transition to turn my hobby into a career. Broadcast meteorology has allowed me to combine my passions for science, public speaking, and education!
What is your most memorable weather experience?
I will never forget the first time I saw thundersnow! It was the Groundhog Day Blizzard that hit Chicago in 2011. Almost two feet of snow fell overnight with 60 mph winds and lightning. In the morning, it looked like it was still pitch black outside because the snow drifts covered up almost all of the windows! We got a grand total of two days off of school for the “Snowpocalypse.”
Outside of weather, what are your hobbies and interests?
I enjoy spending time outside. skiing, sailing, SCUBA diving, and beach volleyball are just a couple of my favorites! I am also always on the hunt for a good coffee spot.
Besides your parents, who has influenced you the most in your life?
My grandfather was always my biggest cheerleader. He encouraged me to pursue my love of math and science just as he had. I loved all my “lessons” from my grandpa, whether it was teaching me the basics of algebra or explaining the chemical components of a candle flame. I like to think his knack for explaining science rubbed off on me.
What is a little known fact about you?
Guten Tag! I have dual-citizenship with Germany. Maybe one day I can give the forecast in German!
What are your hopes and dreams for the profession of weather?
As technology continues to improve, so will our ability to forecast. It is my hope that we can provide more accurate forecasts with more time to prepare for severe weather. My goal is to keep my family, friends, and viewers safe (and also a little entertained!)