Behind Chambana Weather | Meteorologist Andrew Pritchard
I'm as townie as it gets. I spent the first 8 years of my life living in Champaign, before my family crossed the border over to Urbana for the rest of my childhood. I graduated from Urbana High School, and then from Parkland College in Champaign with my Associate of Science with an emphasis in Earth Sciences, before spending my only years outside of C-U equally surrounded by cornfields in DeKalb where I received my B.S. in Meteorology at Northern Illinois University. In addition to running Chambana Weather, I also serve as an Agricultural Meteorologist with Agrible, Inc in Champaign, Illinois where I monitor the weather's impact on agriculture both in the U.S., and internationally.
I learned from C-U's finest, growing up under the guidance of Ed Kieser, formerly of WILL AM/FM/TV. Ed spent 25 years as the twin cities' most trusted meteorologist, and he also gave me my first part time job as an assistant in his weather office at age 16. There I spent seven years under his wings before budget deficits forced the weather department to close its doors entirely. I thought surely after "going away" for school that I would move off to far reaches of the country studying the weather, but I love this community too much and want nothing more than to provide it with accurate weather information, especially during times of severe and hazardous weather.
The only thing that I love more than trying to figure out what the sky has in store for us next, is experiencing it with my own eyes. I have been walking around with my head tilted up toward the clouds since I was a little kid, and will still find any excuse I can to spend time outdoors. The term "storm chaser" has taken an interesting turn in the last decade or so, and I've taken to referring to myself as an atmospheric photographer these days. That said, my favorite time of year will always be springtime, when the atmosphere battles it out in the form of beautiful Midwest thunderstorms, and you can be certain I'll be out there trying to get a view over the cornstalks as the skies over rural America turn black.
My mission is to keep the CU Community weather-aware. Even if we spend 364 days of the year under deep blue skies, I don't want that one extreme weather day to catch a single person off guard. I've spoken to pre-schoolers all the way up to a planetarium full of weather enthusiasts at Parkland College and would love to continue spreading the weather word.