Weather People

MAPS: Partly Cloudy
DELIVERY: Partly Cloudy
HAIR: Cloudy

He can't possibly approach the level of a Maria Genero, but despite an annoying habit of twiddling his thumbs while on camera, Don Noe, who's worked at Channel 10 for more than eleven years, really does attempt to forecast the nonweather with a fair dose of pep. Noe, who carries the main weather load at Channel 10 (Todd Tongen and Walt Cronise pitch in during the off-peak hours), doesn't render his graphics with Bryan Norcross's flair, but his efforts are subtly ambitious. Of special note is a doofus boater who rows across the screen (sometimes with a water-skier in tow), and even more impressively, a U.S. map-on-a-spit that rotates to reveal the next topic.

Born and reared in Wisconsin, the 39-year-old, AMS-approved Noe might be the definitive weather nerd, having always wanted to be a weathercaster. His cornball press bio states that Noe "fell in love with weather at the age of ten while watching a fierce thunderstorm tear up a large elm tree in his back yard." Noe supposedly went to the library the next day to check out all the weather books he could find and spent his allowance on a thermometer. Asked if the story is true, Noe says simply, "Yup." About his reasons for getting into the television business, he's a bit more forthcoming: "I was interested in radio for a while, but radio didn't pay that well."

Noe is the first to admit that fashion is not foremost on his mind. His wife picks out his clothes for him, he says - at Saks and Bloomies - which is curious, given that his wardrobe has all the color and flair of a Sears catalogue.

Despite his claim that "my taste is mostly in my mouth, I guess," Noe would stand to gain points by shopping for himself and by taking a risk or two every now and then. Once cited by People magazine as a "crazy" weathercaster, Noe insists he's put his wild days behind him. "Once in Green Bay, I stood on my head," he says. "On a Friday, I said, `It's gonna be a great weekend, and if it isn't, I'll come in Monday and do the forecast standing on my head.' Well, it poured. And on Monday I did the weather standing on my head, with my tie flopping down in my face. I've also dressed up as a groundhog and as Paul Revere. Now I'm approaching 40, though, and I've got a wife and two kids, so I guess I don't do those things any more."

More's the pity.

WLTV-TV Channel 23
Javier Romero
Monday - Friday at 5:30, 6:00, and 10:30 p.m.

STUDIO: Cloudy
MAPS: Partly Cloudy
FASHION SENSE: Partly Cloudy
HAIR: Partly Cloudy

Aside from the fact that he's Channel 23's main meteorological man (Eduardo Lujan pinch hits) one remarkable feature puts the dimple-faced Javier Romero on the weather map, figuratively speaking: His delivery would qualify him for a career as an auctioneer.

The rapidity and high pitch of Romero's voice make it sound as though someone has squeezed him very hard in a very uncomfortable place, causing him to get his meteorological message across with a speed unmatched by any of the local competition. If you never thought it was humanly possible to speak both swiftly and suavely, listening to Romero will make you think again. Such unbelievable quickness inspired a time check: does he have the ability to present his pronostico more quickly, saving time for his news colleagues, or does he pack a load of additional verbiage into the three or four minutes weather reporters are commonly allotted?

The stopwatch doesn't lie; Romero's weathercast is no longer or shorter than anybody else's. Which presents a bit of a mystery. He doesn't seem to be cramming in more information, yet the raw word count is astronomical. What gives? The 26-year-old Romero attributes the velocity of his verbiage to the fact that he also works in radio - he does the morning drive-time show at WXDJ-FM 95.7 (Radio Ritmo). "I really never thought I talked that fast," says the Cuban-born and Miami-reared reporter. "I guess working in radio sort of gives me the speeding edge." Right.

Perhaps because they have absolutely nothing to do with the weather, Romero's viewer mail-in photo features, "Esquiador de la Semana," and "Pescador de la Semana," are a rare treat. There's nothing quite like breaking up today's lows and tomorrow's highs with a snapshot of some clumzoid endeavoring to schuss down the slopes of Aspen or holding up a large-mouthed bass.

Channel 51
Angel Martin
Monday - Friday at 6:00 and 11:00 p.m.

MAPS: Cloudy
DELIVERY: Partly Cloudy
HAIR: Partly Cloudy

Angel Martin appears each evening in front of a picturesque "window" - complete with blinds and a patch of greenery behind it - before making his way over to where his maps are projected. Looking like a cross between ESPN's Chris Berman and actor Danny DeVito, the 38-year-old Martin is by far the most dapper dresser among this town's weathercasters, his sartorial tastes running decidedly toward the realm of the lounge lizard. He's the only one who dares to wear black.

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