As a wintery wind whipped through the cool air, wind that Tom Clark himself predicted, he displayed various weather sensors in his Wright Township backyard, from complex air pressure gages to the more simplistic yardstick for measuring snowfall.
With these tools, he’s reported Mountaintop’s weather for this newspaper for two decades. For even longer –34 years –he’s been the famous WNEP meteorologist, coming into viewers’ homes each weeknight, giving them reliable forecasts and the means to plan their lives.
Now about to retire from television on Dec. 30, Tom spoke about how his boyhood fascination with weather turned into a successful career and what it’s been like to spend all these years forecasting the weather, with his meteorologist wife Noreen by his side and his devoted viewing public supporting him –most of the time.
“I’ve worked more years than I imagined but I’ve been blessed with good management and loyal viewers,” Tom related. “It’s been a good ride and a great journey. I’ve been rewarded that I got to study my hobby my whole life.”
Hobby to Career
“Weather’s always been my hobby, since grade school,” Tom recalled. “I’ve always been fascinated with storms and weather watching. I always knew I wanted to be a meteorologist…I still look forward to that aspect of watching the weather to see how it will turn out.”
Born and raised in Drexel Hill, a suburb of Philadelphia, a young Tom took his own measurements of rain and snowfall in his backyard, hoping to someday be a meteorologist.
While attending college at Penn State, Tom and his roommate, Paul Douglas, put together a weather service where they supplied forecasts to two radio stations. From there, the pair branched to offering their predictions to a television station as well, WNEP.