When schools closed to in-person learning in March, and kids were mostly stuck at home, KSAT 12 meteorologist Justin Horne put out a call for students in the San Antonio area to submit original videos of themselves forecasting the weather.
The Junior Meteorologists segment is a chance to feature some San Antonio kids on a live broadcast of Good Morning San Antonio and KSAT.com, while promoting an at-home scientific learning opportunity during the COVID-19 quarantine period.
In this feature, we will get to know what Justin is like behind-the-scenes and how he came about starting Junior Meteorologists on GMSA @9 weekdays.
Q&A with Justin Horne:
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in West Texas, mainly Midland.
How did you get your start at KSAT?
I arrived almost ten years ago after moving from a station in Houston. I started as a meteorologist but also did quite bit of news reporting. I’ve loved every minute of it!
What made you want to become a weatherman?
In 1987, a tornado struck the small west Texas town of Saragosa, which wasn’t too far from where I lived at the time. Even though I was young, I remember the impact that it left on the community. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated with weather and Texas is a great place to experience ALL Mother Nature has to offer.
Coming full circle, I was able to visit Saragosa 30 year later with KSAT and talk to residents who still remember that fateful day.
How did “Junior Meteorologist” come about? How long have you been featuring “Junior Meteorologist”?
I started the “Junior Meteorologist” series shortly after COVID-19 stay at home orders were put into place. Being a father of two young girls, I knew kids were itching to find fun things to do. I was blown away by the amount of submissions and the talent of our local youth! My hope is that it is not only fun for them, but a bit educational, too. It’s been a lot of fun!
For all the aspiring junior meteorologists out there, what advice do you have for them?
Stick with it and be creative! As meteorologists, our ability to forecast weather is always getting better, but there is still so much to learn. They are the future and they have the ability to take meteorology to the next level.
Tell us about your family
I have a beautiful wife, Lauren, and two daughters, Hailey and Hannah. Hailey is 6 and Hannah is 2. My wife is an attorney, so I don’t ever win arguments!
What’s your craziest work (weather) story?
It’s easily Hurricane Harvey. It was a storm that rapidly intensified in the Gulf of Mexico and I was dispatched to Corpus Christi in the KSAT Storm Chaser, along with a photojournalist and a producer. Seeing the absolute power of the Category 4 storm was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We initially covered the landfall, seeing winds of around 100 mph. Then, I spent the next week tracking the historic flooding that Harvey left behind. It was sobering to see the amount of destruction and certainly something I’ll never forget.
What’s some of the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s cliché, but “don’t sweat the small stuff." I live by that motto every day.
What have been some of your favorite memories at KSAT?
Getting to do and see things I wouldn’t normally be able to do! I’ve been caving with the Edwards Aquifer Authority, kissed a Beluga whale AND a giraffe, and have seen just about every kind of weather in the KSAT Storm Chaser. I would also add hanging out with my weather family. I truly love our weather team and enjoy their company. We’ve made some good memories together!
What’s your favorite season to cover and why?
Spring. I’m a warm-weather guy all the way and am fascinated by severe weather. I don’t do cold.
What’s your favorite food(s) and drink(s)?
Tex-Mex. It’s what I grew up on and it’s my comfort food.
What kind of music do you listen to?
Everything. My satellite radio is most often set to 80s and 90s rock music. However, some days just call for some classic George Strait.
If you could binge-watch a TV show, what would it be and why?
Ozark is fantastic and definitely binge-worthy. The acting and writing are top-notch. I’m also a sucker for any kind of documentary.
What are your top favorite movies?
I’m not a big movie person, but one movie I really liked was Inception. I appreciate movies that make your brain hurt.
What’s your dream vacation? Bucket list?
Tahiti. Beaches are where it’s at. I’d love to take a boat and visit some remote islands.
Favorite thing(s) to do around the city?
I’m a huge basketball fan! I play basketball twice a week in a league, but I also love to go to Spurs games when I can. I also enjoy taking my daughters to the water park during the summer. I think I have just about as much fun as they do!
We’re looking for junior meteorologists! If the kids are bored at home, we’d love to see a video of them giving the weather forecast.
Check out all the junior meteorologist features here!
KSAT junior meteorologist examples: