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Jeff Lawson

13News Now Chief Meteorologist
Credit: WVEC
13News Now Chief Meteorologist Jeff Lawson

Growing up, Chief Meteorologist Jeff Lawson was the kind of kid who collected hailstones and then cut them in half to see how many trips they had made up and down in that particular thunderstorm. Eventually, his love of science (and especially meteorology) led him to attend Penn State, which has the best meteorology school in the country. 

At Penn State, Jeff worked for the Campus Weather Service, providing forecasts for radio stations throughout Pennsylvania. One of his most memorable forecasts came when emergency planners who were handling the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant meltdown called asking which areas to evacuate because of radiation fallout.

Jeff spent summers and Christmas breaks working for the NOAA, which is the umbrella organization for the National Weather Service. While there, he worked with Dr. Vern Dvorak to develop methods of estimating the strength of tropical systems from satellite pictures. Those methods still are used extensively by the National Hurricane Center to estimate how strong tropical systems are when they are too far away to be accessed by hurricane hunter aircraft or are in between recon flights.

After graduation, Jeff worked at private companies doing forecasts for ski resorts, radio stations, and school systems, as well as telling TV weathercasters who weren't meteorologists what to say on television that night.

Eventually, as he became less shy and realized he liked explaining science to people, he decided to give television a try. After four years at WWBT in Richmond and three years at Fox 5 in DC, Jeff met his future wife, who grew up in Virginia Beach. She convinced him to apply at 13News Now, where he has been Chief Meteorologist for 33 years. 

When you combine his time doing radio in the market (2WD was one of his clients before he got into television) with his TV time, Jeff has been forecasting continuously for Hampton Roads for 43 years, longer than any meteorologist in the history of the area. He is also extremely proud of having been voted not just Hampton Roads' favorite meteorologist, but to the all-time Dream Team of Hampton Roads anchors.

Jeff is proud to say he does all his own forecasting, never looking at another person's forecast. Because of that, he believes that the 13News Now audience gets forecasts that are different and more accurate than those from other stations where people have little or no training in meteorology and rely primarily on the National Weather Service to tell them what to say.

As we continue to see technology advance at a rapid rate and more and more automation comes into play with things like weather apps that come strictly from computer models, Jeff and his team promise to use their experience, schooling, and training to give audience members forecasts that are the most accurate available.

Jeff has been married for over 30 years to the world's greatest woman. They have three adult children, three cats, and one grand dog. In his spare time, Jeff likes to work out by hiking and cycling.

You can email Jeff as well as follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

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