Conversations with Chris: A look back at his career
TV5 Meteorologist Chris Ewing reflects on his memorable career before he retires on Friday, April 16th.
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - It’s almost the end of an era.
It takes a special person to be loved by virtually everyone they come in contact with - and everyone who lets them into their homes every day.
That’s exactly what meteorologist Chris Ewing did here at TV5 for the last 30 years.
We sat down with him to talk about his memorable career before he retires on Friday.
”My first day at Channel Five was back in 1990,” Chris said.
That was a good day for Maine - the day Chris Ewing decided to make Bangor his home.
Chris Ewing explained,“I remember coming in. I wasn’t on the air for a couple of days just getting acclimated to the new weather system. I had come up from the Boston area.”
Over the next three decades - that friendly face, infectious laugh, and sunny disposition would capture the hearts of Mainers relying on his accurate forecasts - even if he was from away - he’d became one of the best parts of our viewer’s day.
“I’d only been on the, on TV, maybe a dozen times down in the Boston area so I was still fairly nervous when I came here, but everybody was so nice and so friendly and happy to have me there so it just made me feel welcomed when I got here.”
His love for meteorology is apparent. It started at a young age.
“Since I was four or five years old, I’ve just been fascinated by the weather. My dad always thought I got interested in the weather because he was superintendent of schools, he was the person who called school off, so he thought, you know I got into it, wanting snowstorm so that school could get canceled so I, I literally when I first-second grade. If I thought it was going to snow one flake if I had heard on the TV that there was going to be snow. I would wake up at four in the morning, look out the window and we had a streetlight not far away and if I saw one flight coming down, I would run and jump on his bed. Dad, you got to call school off, but I don’t think that’s it, and it’s most of the meteorologists I know are the same way. They just knew at an early age.”
A place like Maine is a weather-lovers dream.
“People say, Oh, wouldn’t you like to work in Phoenix or San Diego or LA and I’d say, Absolutely not, it’s the variety,” Chris explained. Variety of weather that I love, I just, I love the changes, and you know the nuances of it and, you know, our forecast area goes from like Jackman, all the way down to Eastport, and you know down towards Augusta and down towards Rockland and you can have five different kinds of weather, all within that geographical area at the same time, and you’re trying to get that all down in a three-minute forecast.
A forecast requiring accuracy because of the families, farmers, mariners who relied on it every single day.
“I started as a meteorology major at, at the time it was called Lowell tech as part of you, University of Massachusetts system, “ Chris explained. He added “When I went there, we had this freshman orientation class that you took every week and they kept saying well there aren’t a lot of jobs in meteorology, and there are three years of physics and two years of calculus and all this chemistry, and there aren’t that many jobs, and I actually changed majors and got a degree in economics in business, and I worked for five years. And then I, I just was fascinated by weather so I called up this meteorologist in Boston and on TV on Channel Five, and said, Hey, can I come to talk to you and he said I can give you 10 minutes. And because I wanted to find out what I could pursue, you know, without my degree, you know, whether it be sales in some kind of weather compute systems. And he said, I’ll give you 10 minutes, and we talked for four and a half hours. And he said, If you go back and get your degree in meteorology, I will hire you. The day you get out of college graduate college. So I went to Plymouth state graduated and the next day I was working for him.”
That training would be used to help Mainer’s weather hurricanes like in “August of 91. We had Hurricane Bob. "
Snowstorms, too. Chris added, “It was a whiteout.”
And of course - the Ice Storm of 1998. Chris explained, “I was at the office, almost around the clock.”
Loving every minute of it.
Chris said, “My wife would say, ‘aren’t you sick of the weather?’”
Especially during his favorite season.
“I love winter. I absolutely love winter, like a kid in a candy store when Winter’s coming. Once we get past Halloween, they can start snowing for me, and I know people are probably not overly happy when I say that, but it’s just that challenge of snowstorms, you know, It’s like my Super Bowl when there are storms coming, and I know a lot of the meteorologists in New England are that way,” Chris added.
Unlike the storms, he was able to unravel before they blew through - what he didn’t predict was the legend he would become.
TV5 Meteorologist Todd Simcox said, “He is a legend.”
“I wanted to do one of two things when I was a little kid, I either wanted to be a meteorologist, or I wanted to play for the Boston Red Sox, and it became very apparent in little league that I was never going to play for the Boston Red Sox. Well lucky for us, you were a better meteorologist than. I don’t know how good a meteorologist I am probably not a good baseball player.”
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