For The Weather Channel anchor and West Cobb resident Jen Carfagno, a love of all things weather led to a successful and, ultimately, very fulfilling meteorology career. “I always liked the outdoors,” Carfagno said. “As a kid, I loved going to the pool and watching the weather. I never had that one quintessential event you hear meteorologists talk about, but I was always into it and it was just happenstance I fell into meteorology.”
Whether happenstance or fate, a high school math teacher with a pilot’s license helped fuel Carfagno’s passion for the elements. “I really loved math and also wanted to be a pilot,” Carfagno said. “He gave me a book on flying that was full of weather.” She was hooked.
“One thing I love about math is that there’s an exact answer to a problem,” she said. “But, meteorology is a puzzle to put together. There’s math involved but, why do cows fly through the air during a tornado, there’s not an exact answer, so trying to figure it out is exciting. People think all weather is the same but there are no two events alike.”
Spurred by a longstanding enthusiasm for weather, and that well-timed git from her teacher, Carfagno set off for Penn State, where she received her degree in meteorology. After graduation, she reached out to contacts at The Weather Channel, where she previously had interned, and landed her first job placing labels on weather maps and ensuring severe weather warnings were filed. It wasn’t long before she moved up the ranks to forecaster and began an apprenticeship program, working on air for a couple of hours a week in her spare time. During those years, Carfagno began working as a meteorology strategist, developing new product ideas, and she applied to Emory’s business school.
Just as she was about to start her MBA program, she landed the job of her dreams at The Weather Channel. “I was accepted at Emory’s Goizueta Business School for the Executive MBA Program, and that meant I was going to have to stop my apprenticeship. As soon as I put in my school deposit, The Weather Channel offered me the full-time job, and I chose this because I had worked so hard to get there.”
Now, 14 years since she first started at The Weather Channel, Carfagno works as a Weekend View anchor and also fills in on Weather Today. “It’s really fun to talk about weather,” she said. “I could talk about it all day. It’s a conversation starter, so I feel like it’s a very social thing. We always work in the weather but try to tie it to things people are doing. We’re looking at hour-by-hour forecasts and gearing it to what you’re doing on weekends. Plus, providing safety information to people when severe weather strikes is really rewarding because we’re making a difference.”
It’s no surprise that Carfagno, who has two girls, Kelly (5) and Natalie (3), with her husband Neil, loves outdoor activities (like running, gardening, going to the beach, and attending outdoor concerts), as much as she loves weather. “We really like living in Cobb County,” she said. “There are a ton of running trails, and there’s easy access to dining, shopping and festivals. Plus, we have a great group of friends here.”
Whether she’s hanging with family and friends, gardening in her backyard, running the mountain trails, or anchoring Weekend View, Jen Carfagno has always got an eye to the sky, preparing to deliver the most engaging, up-to-date news to her audience. Check her out weekends on The Weather Channel.
You Gotta Wear Shades
The Weather Channel, with offices located in Cobb County, is celebrating its 30-year anniversary in 2012. The most-distributed cable network on air and the number two most popular app across smartphones and tablets, TWC has become one of the most trusted and widely known media companies today, as well as an industry and technology leader reaching 163 million consumers each month. Although TWC is an industry leader with an international direction, it still remains highly engaged with audiences through its unique brand of localized storytelling. On May 2 of this year, The Weather Channel team celebrated its industry leading innovation and three-decade long tradition, with its first broadcast taking place May 2, 1982, with an ‘80s-themed employee party complete with Atlanta-based band Yacht Rock and food trucks. For TWC fans, the team celebrated with on-air segments looking back at the first 30 years, as well as the launch of an all new web site at www.weather.com. For The Weather Channel, if the last 30 years are any indication, the future’s so bright, they gotta wear shades.
*Originally published in the July 2012 issue of Cobb Life Magazine.