By Mara Mazar | firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Nunn describes himself as an “all-American nerd” who has “made being a dork into a long lasting occupation as a meteorologist” on his LinkedIn profile.
Delivering weather forecasts with WJXT since 2004, he is always trying to make people smile.
“You know if somebody watches and gets the information that they need, and we share a smile along the way, then I hope it’s brightened their day for the better,” Nunn said.
Nunn’s mother had told him that he had gotten into meteorology due to spending all of his time outside. Growing up, Nunn’s family would spend much of their time camping.
“My parents instilled being outside. They would pick us up on a Wednesday, and sometimes we wouldn’t go back to school for a week. It was because of their love of the outdoors. They wanted that really to be instilled in us, so as kids we had great adventures camping,” he said.
Nunn continues to enjoy exploring and experiencing the outdoors with his family. He has had many opportunities through his job to meet interesting people and go on more adventures.
Nunn attended the University of Florida where he graduated with a minor in meteorology and bachelor’s degree in telecommunications and journalism. Then he attended Mississippi State University, where he graduated with a master’s degree in meteorology.
Never intending to pursue a career in television, Nunn was interested in working for the National Weather Service. He even applied for an internship with various National Weather Service offices, but he ended up interning with a television station in the Daytona area.
“What I got to do there was actually just have a lot of fun, and it was so much different than what I thought it would be. It allowed the weather nerd in me to be a full on weather nerd. It went beyond just the research and science and it actually humanized what it is that I spent so much time learning,” he said.
Nunn went on to work in Portland, Oregon as NW32TV’s, formally KWBP-TV32, Chief Meteorologist, and then KPTV Fox 12 Portland’s Meteorologist. There, Nunn also had many adventures. Nunn had the opportunity to train with athletes for a marathon held in Rome, Italy and even explored the caves below Portland, Oregon before they became well-known.
An opportunity opened up for Nunn is 2004 to work in Jacksonville, Florida for WJXT. Since Nunn’s family lived in the area, he did not want to pass up the opportunity. He, his wife and their cat left in a moving truck with their car in tow and took the scenic route back to Florida.
“We stopped at the Grand Canyon and all of that kind of fun stuff, and then we came home to find Jacksonville had grown up quite a bit since we had been out of the state,” he said.
Not only does Nunn enjoy being closer to his family in Jacksonville, he also loves the diversity of climate.
“It’s a great place because we get a bit of everything. We get beach forecasts. We get maritime forecasts. We get inland forecasts. It’s not as challenging as being in the mountains, but it offers a way that as a meteorologist, I can connect with different parts of our audience by localizing what folks can expect,” he said.
Nunn works hard during the hurricane season. This season is particularly active with Hurricane Dorian coming so close to Jacksonville early September and having Hurricane Humberto and Hurricane Jerry out in the Atlantic.
“We get a bit of everything from what has been a busy tropical season with lots of news. Most of it sad around the Bahamas thanks to Dorian,” he said.
Although one of the biggest obstacles for Nunn is getting up in the morning to his 2:20 a.m. alarm, he is cheery and passionate for almost every WJXT weather report.
“I am really passionate about keeping people safe in the event of severe weather. Anything from our daily variety of summer thunderstorms that could potentially not be strong to dangerous to, you know, even letting folks know that there’s a nuisance in the forecast,” he said. “It’s the chance to relate to people in something that we all live in and that we all talk about.”