Eric Wilhelm’s enthusiasm and love of the weather knows no bounds.
The self-proclaimed “Weather Geek” of the Mahoning Valley, Wilhelm is the chief meteorologist for WFMJ (Channel 21) in Youngstown and can be seen on weeknight newscasts at 6 p.m. and 11 p.m.
On Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m., Wilhelm will appear at Rodman Public Library to present “The Children’s Blizzard and Modern Weather Prediction.”
Wilhelm will discuss the evolution of weather prediction since the freak January 12, 1888 storm that is the backdrop of The Children’s Blizzard by Melanie Benjamin. When the storm hit the Great Plains on a day that started out very mild, there was little warning of the approaching storm. The National Weather Bureau was born in the aftermath of the tragedy.
Registration is required.
Wilhelm, WFMJ’s chief meteorologist since 2013, will explain the way weather was forecast in the 1880s compared to modern day. He will also discuss what a meteorologist does and the challenges a forecaster faces in Northeast Ohio.
“The Earth's atmosphere is an extraordinarily complex system and I love the daily challenge of trying to figure it all out,” said Wilhelm. “I often say I was born to be a meteorologist, because I was born in Xenia, Ohio, home of the most famous tornado in Ohio history and I was born a few weeks after the most famous blizzard in Ohio history in 1978,” said Wilhelm. “Truth be told, when the Weather Channel appeared on our cable system in the mid ’80s, I was hooked. I obsessed over the colorful USA Today weather page as well. My meteorological hero is Cleveland weather legend Dick Goddard, with whom I share a birthday.”
Prior to joining WFMJ, Wilhelm spent 11 years at AccuWeather, Inc. While at AccuWeather, he forecast every type of weather for every type of climate in North America and broadcast AccuWeather forecasts on radio and television stations in dozens of markets across the country.
Originally from New Philadelphia, Wilhelm earned a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from The Ohio State University in 2001.