Earlier this month, Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore was reporting live from Plymouth, Massachusetts, when he realized there had been thundersnow during Winter Storm Neptune.
Cantore then went Jim Harbaugh on viewers and absolutely lost his mind, jumping up and down and pumping his fists in the night air.
Why such an emotional reaction?
“Weather’s our Super Bowl,” Cantore explained on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “Weather’s our Stanley Cup playoffs. It’s awesome just to have Mother Nature perform like that in front of your very eyes. It just hit me. Maybe it was the long hours, the early mornings – all of the above, probably.”
Cantore was phoning in from Dallas, where he was covering a winter storm.
“Winter has finally arrived in the South,” he said. “It waited until late February to do so, but it made it here.”
Cantore said there was some thunder sleet in Dallas this past weekend, “which was pretty awesome,” but he didn’t erupt like he did in Massachusetts.
“We were on the air live,” he said, “but it was kind of interesting because . . . I couldn’t really tell (if it was happening). Because instead of it coming at me like when I was in Boston, my eyes were in the light, so it was hard to see what was going on. But eventually we caught it. We had a little reaction, but it’s hard to best what happened at Plymouth. I just flipped out.”
Cantore is actually a huge sports fan and is often asked to give weather updates for the NHL and NFL. He’s even been on hand to report on some of the NHL Winter Classics.
“It’s been awesome,” he said. “I know the players don’t like it when it’s – forgive the analogy – but puke and snow outside and it’s hammering the rink. But it’s just so awesome for the fans when that’s going on. That’s just an awesome sight, no question about it.”
Cantore doesn’t cover a set number of athletic events each year. Instead, he gets involved as needed.
“It’s really up to NBC,” he said. “Sometimes they’ll call me last minute. When it was raining in Seattle a couple of years ago and lightning and they delayed the game for Sunday Night Football, they called me for an update, which is really cool. I love weather and sports. Let’s put it this way: The two go hand-in-hand. Sometimes the weather can be the great equalizer, right? It can be a game-changer forever. Who can’t forget all the games that were in snow and heavy rain? Those are usually the best games.”
Cantore said that Boston has gotten “just absolutely crushed” this winter and that it’s “beyond insanity.” He admits he gets excited for bad weather – just as long as no one is harmed or in danger.
“I don’t like hurricanes and tornadoes,” Cantore said. “I’m going to be honest with you. I’ve seen enough destruction for any man for a lifetime. I’ve had enough of those. Do I like seeing them out in an open cornfield when they don’t bother anyone? Yes, absolutely. But not when they’re rolling through Tuscaloosa, Alabama, or Little Rock, Arkansas, or Dallas, Texas. That’s the worst. But snow generally – if people behave – is pretty fun. And that’s how I grew up in Vermont – loving snow.”