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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
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Stephanie Abrams and Jim Cantore gab up their shows on the Weather Channel

Stephanie AbramsI interviewed Stephanie Abrams and Jim Cantore, the two biggest personalities on The Weather Channel before I left for my honeymoon two weeks ago. They were promoting two new shows, “Weather Proof” and “Cantore Stories,” which debuted on Sunday, January 24. I ran out of time to write this post before Mexico. So belatedly, here’s what I gleaned:

The Weather Channel realizes that people are increasingly using other sources to get the five-day forecast. So it’s seeking fresh ways to talk about the weather.

“We have to be creative,” Cantore said. “We have to find new ways to grab that viewer with ‘weathertainment.’ ”

Abrams, who co-hosts “Waking Up With Al” on weekday mornings with Al Roker for the Weather Channel,  shot six episodes of “Weather Proof,” in which she tests dangerous weather-related situations. The first episode focused on how well various building materials stand up against raging flames. They also recreate being trapped in a burning building and getting out safely.

“People say all the time about, say, how golf ball-sized craters can dent a car,” Abrams said. “Let’s show that in a controlled setting. In the hurricane episode, we test to see if 12 inches of moving water can move a car.”

She has a co-host named Newton Wimer, a stunt man and a special effects guy who worked on “Fast and the Furious” and “Speed.” He’s the one who was placed in a car that went underwater and had to escape. She volunteered to do some of the tougher tests but the producers tended to give it to Newt. “He’s the sweetest calmest guy,” she said. “I’m the wild child between the two of us. He’s Mr. Safety.”

While some of this is just fun to watch, she said you can get some useful tips, too. They tested a special gel that keeps a house from going up in flames. ‘This gel just blew my mind!” Abrams said. “And it’s environmentally friendly.”

For the next season, she’d like to create an avalanche, a mudslide and a landslide.

cantore

Cantore, on his show (which had better ratings last Sunday than “Weather Proof”), visits extreme weather spots such as Death Valley and International Falls, Minn., one of the coldest spots in the continental United States. “The city takes pride in claiming to be the icebox of the nation,” he said. “It takes a rare breed to live there. These guys dig holes in a lake and jump in. They have ice shanties. It’s crazy.”

He noted that the extreme weather conditions such as a hurricane or blizzard is what people usually see on the Weather Channel. So this is a way to see a more normal situation.

Cantore visits the bayou in Louisiana, Hawaii and Death Valley. The show, he says, is 90 percent lighthearted and 10 percent serious. He’s committed to 26 episodes.

On TV

“Weatherproof” with Stephanie Abrams, Sundays, 9 p.m., The Weather Channel

“Cantore Stories” with Jim Cantore, Sundays, 10 p.m. The Weather Channel

33 comments Add your comment

Cumulus viewer

January 29th, 2010
7:46 pm

Cantore is the real deal.
The woman looks like a man with her lazy eye.

Michael Colford

January 30th, 2010
8:47 am

Once upon a time, most people among society generally understood the inherent value of extending decency to one another, even when we didn’t necessarily like each other. Then, as the anonymity of the internet replaced all else as the primary form of public interaction, the most foul, cowardly, and base instincts of mankind rose to the fore. Here is a place where people can bare the common and selfish ugliness of their souls and their complete lack of good will for any one or any thing without having to have the courage to own up to who they are. I suppose it could have been a good thing for the newspaper to adopt this form of expression as its primary offerings, had the bulk of its readership and the general populace been of a healthier intellect, and a bit more kind. But, alas, such is not the case. And so, in such a way as this, more so than any headlines, we’re sadly reminded, each day, of the world in which we live.

Dilly Dally

January 30th, 2010
9:58 am

The Weather Channel? Are they still around? Haven’t watched them since they fired the lovely Kristina Abernathy.

The Weather Channel – just as insignificant as CNN.

Stormy

January 30th, 2010
10:32 am

I wish the Weather Channel hadn’t been taken over by NBC. I just want to watch weather, I don’t want to see NBC’s liberal news agenda sprinkled in.

Rob

January 30th, 2010
10:48 am

The queen of all weather personalities is Joanne Feldman on Fox 5. She is the only reason to watch the news. Blows everyone else out of the water,including Ken Burns. Can I get an amen? Give her a raise.

owlgore

January 30th, 2010
10:49 am

They now manage to slip PMSNBC in to there weather….disgusting.

catlady

January 30th, 2010
11:01 am

How is fire a weather event? While it can happen because of lightning, it seems a stretch to lump it into a weather show.

I enjoy all the weather-tainment programs, but wish they would run them over and over. I can do some of the “How weather changed history” ones by heart.

And I hate the dramatic pauses. Reminds me of some preachers.

But I love the Weather Channel in general!

catlady

January 30th, 2010
11:03 am

I wish they WOULDN’T run them over and over

bogey2

January 30th, 2010
11:19 am

If you only want to see weather, flip to the Weather Channel on the 8’s for two minutes. Since NBC took over, the balance of the air time is filled with commercials, grown people acting extremely silly or liberal, biased, so called news from NBC.

Morgan

January 30th, 2010
12:39 pm

What about Mike Seidel?? That guy is a LEGEND! He reports LIVE from every major weather event (Hurricanes, Blizzards) and actually throws some funny barbs in too…to create a fun TV experience! He’s far funnier than Al Roker! And…he has more hair than Jim Cantore!! Haha

dave

January 30th, 2010
12:55 pm

Amen, Michael Colford . . .

Hetch Hetchy

January 30th, 2010
1:09 pm

I can’t bear to watch TWC’s morning show with Roker and Stephanie Abrams more than 5 seconds. The morning is tough enough without having to look at those hideous buffoons.

Since the science of weather is hardly discussed anymore, just put up some good looking babes, ferchrissakes.

Bigdawg

January 30th, 2010
1:16 pm

I much prefer liberal media. It tends to be more truthful than the nattering nabobs of negativism on the radio or FAUX news…I can’t stand their “white man as victim” mentality! As a comedian said, “They whine so much about their victimhood, it makes you wonder who brought whom over on the slave ships!” But, if I really want to ENJOY the weather report, Dagmar Midcap cannot be beat! Va-Va-Va Voom!!!

poof!!!

January 30th, 2010
1:19 pm

I feel sorry for you guys who look for a political agenda in everything.

DD

January 30th, 2010
2:07 pm

Stephanie Abrams is the Bomb. SHe’s Hot! Have you ever seen her in a pair of jeans…. WOW!

Weatherfan

January 30th, 2010
7:24 pm

firekencook.com

AccuWeather

January 31st, 2010
1:44 pm

Get your weather where The Weather Channel gets theirs. From Us! http://www.accuweather.com

AccuWeather – Weather without that global warming hoax you get from The Weather Channel.

The Thin Guy

January 31st, 2010
2:49 pm

Stephanie a man? Take your guide dog to the ophthalmologist. That babe has the best rack this side of Dagmar Midcap. If I want to know what the weather is I’ll stick my head out the door. If I want hot babes I turn to The Weather Channel for Heavenly Heather Tesch, Exotic Betty Davis, et. al. Why doesn’t Compost Cable give us those babes on a HD channel. If youse guys don’t like The Weather Channel there are several buttons on your remote control to change channels or turn the thing off. Why do people complain about tv fare and continue to watch it?

Paula

February 2nd, 2010
9:37 am

My tv used to be turned to The Weather Channel each morning as I was getting ready for work. However, I know tune into WAGA. “Wake-Up with Al” is an awful, horrendous show. For local weather, no one holds a candle to Ken Cook – he’s the man.

bee10980

February 3rd, 2010
11:04 am

It’s the Yenta channel along with a Mr Vaudvillian and a bald guy suffering a mid-life crisi (and wants to be the next Mike Rowe). Weather is secondary unless there is a disaster. Come to think of it, TWC is a disaster. Good work NBC!!!

allison joe

February 4th, 2010
3:34 pm

what is your favorite part about being a meteorologist.

miranda

February 4th, 2010
3:37 pm

what’s the best thing about your
job.
do you think you could talk
to me sometime.
Thanks

miranda

February 4th, 2010
3:39 pm

what do you like about
your partner

miranda

February 4th, 2010
3:42 pm

do you know how to
skype because I was wondering
if you could talk to the rest of my classmates?

allison joe

February 4th, 2010
3:46 pm

Hi! I am a middle school student from Cardinal and we are doing a project about the weather .I would like to ask a few questions about how you do your job and what it is like.

What is your favorite part about being a meteorologist?
How long have you been a meteorologist?
What part of the weather do you do?
How many day of the week do you forecast the weather?
Have you ever had to forecast the weather outside while it was raining?

Alexis Quilling

February 4th, 2010
3:46 pm

Hello Stephanie, I am Alexis. I am a middle-school student and I have a few questions for you.

What part of the weather you do?
How long do you work?
How long have you been a meteorologist?
How many days a week do you forecast?

Delaney Angel

February 4th, 2010
3:47 pm

Hi! I’m Delaney my class is studying what meteorologists do and I wanted to ask you some questions

What is the best part of your job?

Do you think you can talk to me some time?

miranda

February 5th, 2010
12:27 pm

Hi Stephanie, I am Miranda.
My class is doing a project on weather.
I would like to ask you some questions.
What part of the weather you do?
How long do you work?
How long have you been a meteorologist?
How many days a week do you forecast?

stephanie vanhoodledingalingdoo

February 5th, 2010
12:29 pm

I am Stephanie also, from Eldon, Iowa at Cardinal Middle School & in my class we have to do a weather report. I would like to ask you some questions. 1. What is the best part about being a meteorologist? 2. How do you know for sure what the weather will be like? 3. Is it hard to predict the weather? 4. What was your least accurate prediction you’ve ever done?

stephanie vanhoodledingalingdoo

February 5th, 2010
12:30 pm

I forgot to add thankyou. thankyou!

Devon joe

February 5th, 2010
12:31 pm

Hi I’m Devon and my class is studying meteorologists and I wanted to ask you some questions.

What is the best part of your job?

Do you like your partner?

Tommy c

February 14th, 2010
12:41 pm

It’s amazing how you liberals put fear into the
American people. Your global warming fraud .
Hurricanes and all these blizzards across
America ans the world are an act of God.
Gory and the messiah should be held accountable
for fraud using tax payers dollars for their
personal agenda to get rich off of lies that you
people spread for them. That is my opinion . Weather does not lie.

Frank Tina

February 15th, 2010
12:55 pm

Stephanie looks like a man? No, Alexandra Steele looks like a man. Or a Tran’. One of the two. She has an enormous head and comes off as extremely, I dunno, scripted or something.

I prefer Bill “look how many tiny communities I can name” Keneely and Jeff “everyday-dude” Morrow! Oh, and Kim Perez rocks!

As for Cantore… he needs to get over himself. The man has been grating on my nerves for 15+ years.

Where did Cheryl “a very tumultous, very violent storm” Lemke and Lisa “how insane can I act on air and get away with it?” Mozer go to? They were sorta funny… lets bring them back.