While most local weathercasters talk about the weather because they love to be on TV, KSAT 12's Steve Browne is on TV because he loves to talk about the weather.
In fact, weather and the science of meteorology have been Steve's passion since he was in the first grade in Duxbury, Mass..
Back then; he was most fascinated initially by snowstorms (and the snow-days that would accompany them, of course).
But soon, his interest grew to include all forms of weather-related events -- from lightning and thunder to hail to hurricanes and tornadoes.
Steve's fascination with the elements led him to his first weather-casting job in junior high school no less -- where he read the weather forecast each day over the school's public address system.
During his formative years, he confesses he "read every book and article on the weather he could get his hands on: first in his school library, then in his town's public library, then in the neighboring towns' libraries," and so on.
After graduating from high school, he attended Lowell Technical College (now known as The University of Massachusetts at Lowell), where he received his Bachelor of Science degree in meteorology.
Steve recalls his college experience as being the first time he had ever met other "weather nerds" who were as interested in the science of weather as he was.
After stints in Boston, Atlanta, and Cleveland, KSAT 12 recruited Steve due to his background and expertise in meteorology.
They were looking for a weathercaster whose knowledge and experience gave him a great deal of credibility as a weather authority.
Steve Browne arrived in San Antonio in 1992, making him one of the elder statesmen of the current KSAT 12 News Team.
KSAT 12 News Director, Jim Boyle, explains, "We brought Steve to San Antonio because he not only has a real love for weather and science, but also because he has a unique ability to communicate the intricacies of the weather to our audience in a way that everyday folks can understand and relate to. He sets the standard in the market."
It is widely assumed that most local weathercasters obtain their forecasts from the National Weather Service and merely read them to the viewing audience. Not Steve Browne.
Because he is a true meteorologist, Steve is perhaps the only local weathercaster to actually formulate and produce his own forecasts based on detailed information collected by the National Weather Service and distributed via satellite to the KSAT 12 weather lab.
In fact, the first thing Steve does after arriving at work each day is to carefully examine more than a dozen different maps, which chart a variety of climactic conditions at different levels of the atmosphere.
He then combines that information with considerable other computer-generated research regarding factors such as wind speed, barometric pressure, the jet stream, and the movement of weather systems around the globe to determine his forecast for the coming days.
He then compares his forecast to the forecast distributed by the National Weather Service before making his final determination.
That done, Steve then turns to the task of actually producing his weathercast which entails selecting and placing all the graphics and other visual elements the viewing audience sees at home.
Sometimes that even includes using weather-related photography he himself has created as a background for his weathercast.
For instance, early one spring, a large "Super Cell" as high as 40,000 feet traveled across the Canyon Lake/New Braunfels area.
On a dinner break between newscasts on the far northwest side of San Antonio, Steve could see the storm in the sky, even from that distance. So, he took out the digital camera he carries with him, snapped a few pictures of the tremendous cloud tops, and used them during a subsequent weathercast to give his viewers a dramatic look at the enormity of that storm system.
An avid outdoorsman and gardener, Steve Browne understands the importance the weather plays in the lives of his viewers.
He explains, "People in South Texas really care about the weather. They make decisions all the time based on what the weather's going to do, from their golf games to their fishing trips to their outdoor weddings, etc.
"And the farmers in the area take the weather conditions here particularly seriously. So I try to be very sensitive to the needs of my audience. I know that in drought-like conditions, what might be a "nice" day to some people might not be considered "nice" to others. I'm very careful about my forecasts and how I present them on the air."
Despite the fact that he is a scientist at heart, Steve also enjoys the lighter moments the weather report can bring to the newscast. "Things like the KSAT 12 Garden here at the station give me a chance to relate on a more personal level to our viewers. I enjoy giving them more information than just the weather. It helps lighten up the newscast, and it makes my job a little more fun," he adds.
Steve is known around the TV station for his annual spaghetti dinner, which he prepares for his coworkers from the tomatoes grown in the KSAT 12 Garden.
In addition, he has given viewers instructions on how to construct their own mini-greenhouses to keep plants from freezing in the winter.
Steve can be seen on KSAT 12 (Time Warner Cable Channel 13) Monday through Friday at 5:00, 6:00, and 10:00 p.m.
He encourages viewers to send him pictures and videos of their home gardening success stories, and they may submit gardening and other weather-related questions to him via e-mail at email@example.com.
KSAT 12, owned and operated by Post/Newsweek, is the San Antonio affiliate for ABC-TV. The station airs live news, weather and sports broadcasts at 5 a.m., noon and 5, 6 and 10 p.m. KSAT 12 also owns and operates LATV, which can be viewed on KSAT Digital 12.2, or Time Warner Cable Channel 81, GVTC Cable Channel 165 and Grande Communications Channel 189.
Its call letters, KSAT, stand for San Antonio, Texas and symbolize the station's commitment to the people of San Antonio as the local resource for fair, accurate reporting and a means by which residents have a voice with which to be heard.