Brandon Houck is.....THE DOPPLER BOY
The Canadian Highways Network wanted to talk to The Doppler Boy - an Alberta resident who is excited about weather. His Facebook page boasts thousands of viewers who look no further than his live updates, frequent reports and coverage of the weather for so many areas!
Do you have a favourite weather system to follow?
Thunderstorms are my all time favourite type of weather to follow and to watch because it changes on the nick of a dime. I love watching the structure of a supercell. Of course, seeing lightning - it's like a kid on Christmas morning whenever a thunderstorm arrives. If I ever live anywhere with no thunderstorms I may die. Really, I can't handle missing storms.
With Hurricane Harvey and Irma capturing the world's attention, what did you find the most surprising about people who lived in these areas? Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma were two different storms. With Harvey it came out as a surprise at first we thought it was died as it weakened to nothing moving over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, the storm then moved over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico and intensified quickly becoming a Cat 4 storm and slammed into Texas so people didn't really have time to evacuate. That could have made it worse with only short notice to evacuate. Harvey weakened but then stalled over Southern Texas dumping over 1,000 mm of rain over Houston. Even as a tropical storm then it caused some big problems.
Now with Hurricane Irma, everyone in Florida was prepared and ready as it was forecast to be big - and it sure was - reaching CAT 5 strength, it was one of the strongest storms in the Atlantic.
Did you learn anything new about human nature versus Mother Nature?
Mandatory Evacuations were issued for the Florida Keys and area's near Miami, however some people decided to stay and ride it out which is sometimes not the best idea. At this point in Florida everyone survived but catastrophic damage occurred not only in the keys of Florida but in Cuba, Turks and Caicos, British Virgin Islands, and Barbuda.
I started covering these events only for a few years and I've learned that there will always be people that will not listen to authorities and say, Aahhh we will be fine.' We were really lucky with Hurricane Irma however there will likely be a storm that no one will be able to survive and when you are asked to evacuate, it's simple -evacuate.
When you are not reporting the weather - what captures your attention? Hobbies? Other interests?
Not reporting the weather? Does that really happen? I enjoy outdoor adventures when I am not covering the weather - whether it's going away to enjoy nature and the great outdoors camping, on a boat complete with fishing rod in hopes to catch something (but I miss it every time). I do go on the odd hunting adventure. I'm always up for going on a hike or climbing a mountain - or a hike through the woods (and hope I don't become a cougars breakfast).....or just having a beer, that's a hobby right??
What made you choose weather reporting?
It all started when I was 4, travelling south into a thunderstorm on an airplane. I had so much fun - everyone else didn't and I was obsessed with thunderstorms. Around the age of 8, I really got into weather watching - The Weather Network, always wanting to be a weatherman. Reading all kinds of weather books and collecting the weather out of newspapers.
By 2008 I found Facebook and that's when the trouble started. I started to share my passion of weather with others. Its been a growing community and eventually I started doing the weather daily on Q105.7 which is now Real Country 105.7FM, and then The One 101.1 FM which is now Boom 101.1 FM. I also started doing a weather forecasting course at Penn State and I'm working my way up the ladder one step at a time.
I should also add that I am an Official Weather Observer (TWN), Lead admin for Alberta Storm Chasers, and now Doppler Boy for Suit and Tie Management.
What individual has had the biggest impact on you wether personally or professionally?
I've met a lot of amazing people along the way - from The Weather Network to David Spence out of CTV, Calgary. Reed Timmer, Extreme Storm Chaser and Meterologist - his slogan is 'Never stop chasing' and continue to pursue that.
Many have got me started and I wouldn't be where I am if it weren't for them. A good friend of mine, Ashley Bee from Hot 105.5 in Charlottetown PEI - she was the reason how I got on the radio and she is one of best radio hosts out there. It was such a privilege to work with someone who was also really passionate about her job. She has taught me so much about the media industry. From my autism fundraiser to her donating a liver to a child she doesn't know I am proud to call her my friend and mentor.
Another fellow in the radio industry, Tyler Carr from Energy 106.6 in Winnipeg got my weather started on the other station in Brooks, Alberta when he was here. Now I've taken over the weather all day. He is an amazing friend and I was proud to be able to work with him.
Describe yourself in three words.
Loving, passionate and energetic.
Great answer - your Facebook followers certainly appreciate your reports.
'Doppler Boy' is a great name - can you tell us how that got started?
The Doppler Boy all got started awhile ago. It was more as a nickname from another amazing radio host, Pete Potipcoe from Fort McMurray on 97.9 Rock. We may of never met but I've
followed his career and he is a hoot and I've always called him a friend in the industry.
That Doppler Boy name floated around for years and one day I walked into Frontier Signworks in Brooks, Alberta and another good friend, Mark Tanigami, said, 'Lets start The Doppler Boy.' I said yes and here we are with T-Shirts, licence plates and stickers all on sale!
The Doppler Boy products are available here: www.suitandtie.ca. Prices include shipping and handling.
Thanks for your dedication to the weather, Brandon!