Erie TV weatherman speaking at ACC about weather and more

Rain or shine, there’s no question what’s coming next week.

The Allegheny Community Center (ACC) will host WJET-TV weatherman Tom Atkins starting at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8.

Atkins said he will discuss a wide-range of topics related to his work after being asked by the center to do a presentation.

“Someone had mentioned this a few months ago and I contacted Tom Atkins by e-mail and he responded immediately,” Activities Director Anne Higgins said. “We set up the date and talked a little bit about what he’ll be discussing. I pretty much left it up to him as far as his weather subjects since he would know better than I what people are interested in.”

“I do these regularly,” Atkins said. “We talk about my job, the weather, what it’s like to forecast here and the many interesting experiences I’ve had. I leave a lot of time for folks to ask questions and give comments.”

While this is a first for the center, it’s far from it for Atkins.

“I know I’ve done a talk at the Catholic church and I’ve gone to the Warren schools, too, in my 25 years of broadcasting here in northwest PA,” Atkins said. “I speak to many church groups, garden clubs, schools, senior groups, etc.”

Atkins has been with JET Pinpoint Weather since 1995. He started with the team as a weekend meteorologist and now anchors the weathercast on weeknight evening and late news shows.

A Baltimore native, Atkins grew up in New York and New Jersey and, according to his biography, his “interest was sparked at a young age when his parents bought him a weather station for his 6th birthday.”

He started working in weather at 15 at a private forecasting company at the Newark Airport.

He went on to study broadcast journalism and meteorology at Iowa State University before getting his first television job at WHO-TV in Des Moines, Iowa.

He spent his spare time as a storm chaser tracking down tornadoes.

In 1988, Atkins moved to Erie where he began working at WSEE-TV.

Atkins also teaches meteorology at Penn State Behrend.

The ACC will also be serving a picnic lunch from noon until 1 p.m. on May 8. Those wishing to participate must call the center at least 24 hours in advance to RSVP.