SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – It’s no secret that ABC4 Chief Meteorologist Alana Brophy loves what she does for work. Every night, after signing off on the 10 p.m. broadcast, she can be found staying late in the newsroom, checking data, inputting figures, and above all, relying on her experience and intuition to produce the best possible forecast for the day and week ahead.
It’s that kind of diligence and passion that has kept the ABC4 Pinpoint Weather team as the most accurate weather team in the Salt Lake City/Utah market for the last decade.
This week, ABC4 is being recognized by WeatheRate, which compares television broadcast forecasts against actual weather conditions, as the most accurate in the state for the 10th consecutive year.
“We are incredibly proud as a team,” Brophy says of the accolade. “We think that knowledge is power and when it comes to accuracy, it just better allows the audience and residents of Utah to be able to know what to expect.”
That kind of excellence comes from consistent daily effort. For Brophy, work doesn’t stop when the cameras turn off at the end of the show. Each night, as the rest of the news staff at ABC4 heads home, she stays late, working on the next weather report for an additional two hours. A competitive broadcaster, Brophy takes pride in the fact that her team has done so well in such a competitive and challenging weather market.
“We’re compared to other stations in this market,” she explains. “So it’s a huge accolade to be able to say we’re going up against the best of the best, and we continually come through with being the most accurate.”
Of course, reporting on a full day of weather across nearly 85,000 square miles of dramatically diverse terrain and topography throughout the entire state is a team effort. Brophy gives credit to her fellow ABC4 meteorologists, Adam Carroll and Cesar Cornejo, for their efforts in sustaining the station’s reputation as tops in Utah.
Carroll leads off the day as the Good Morning Utah weatherman and has a vital role in getting viewers ready for whatever weather awaits them when they step out of their homes.
Acknowledging that morning shows are typically considered lighthearted and easy-going, Carroll states that he takes his role as the first weather voice of the day very seriously, especially as Utah prepares for what could be the driest, hottest summer on record.
“A lot of people think the morning show might be a little bit of fun and games but in the end, I’m spending two hours each and every morning, making sure that we’ve got Utah’s most accurate forecasts, especially when you’re dealing with unprecedented heat like we have upcoming,” Carroll says. “We want to make sure we get the forecasts right when we’re talking about the possibility of temperatures that we’ve never seen before this time of year.”
Cornejo is new to the team at ABC4, having arrived in March after time working in Pocatello, Idaho. A native of the Washington D.C. area, he has found the challenge of nailing down an accurate forecast in Utah to be a thrilling step in his career.
“Forecasting is challenging anywhere in the country but when coming to an area out west specifically around mountainous areas, it’s always even harder, but that’s what makes forecasting even more fun,” he smiles.
Each day when ABC4 reporters, anchors, and photographers prepare for the day in a station-wide meeting, the weather is always the first item of discussion. News director Todd Reed often reminds the journalists on the staff of the importance of weather, calling it “the one story that is universal.”
“Weather transcends socio-economic lines, one’s faith, race, it transcends pretty much everything,” Reed, a news veteran in several other major U.S. markets explains. “If the weather is impacting me and I live on the west side it’s going to impact somebody on the east side, right? It transcends any type of barriers that we have as people. It’s the one story that impacts the community the greatest.”
ABC4 vice president and general manager Richard Doutre’ Jones agrees, saying that getting the best weather in the market was a priority for him just over a decade ago. To do it each year since is a major accomplishment in his eyes.
“The meteorologists take it really, really seriously. I learned years ago that we are more accurate than the National Weather Service,” Doutre’ Jones affirms. “In a place like this, that has so many diverse weather types, think of how hard that is. The weather here is so crazy in different parts of the state.”
In addition to getting it right, what makes the weather team at ABC4 stand out even more, is that the meteorologists understand the vibe of being a part of the Utah culture while injecting personality and simplicity into their forecasts.
Brophy is a semi-native to the state, originally from New York, but then graduating from Judge Memorial Catholic High School and having lived in many places across both Northern and Southern Utah. Carroll is a graduate of the University of Utah and can often be heard across the newsroom giving his takes on how the Utah Jazz played the night before. While Cornejo is the team’s newest member, he has already made his allegiance to Real Salt Lake and the Salt Lake Bees quite clear.
Regarding the old joke that every Utahn has said or heard at least a million times: “Welcome to Utah, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes,” Brophy laughs and agrees, at least to an extent.
“At the end of the day, a lot goes on in the state, so I guess if you’re patient enough you get to see it all.”