Blessed by Fire

Wow. Today marks ONE MONTH since I’ve started here at WECT News. Times flies! I’m so thankful to be living in the beautiful city of Wilmington, working with such a great group of people, and doing what I love for a living. Life is good.

It hasn’t been a typical, easy-going month. It’s been non-stop, tireless, and filled with more excitement than I had ever imagined! I’ve now trained on every weather shift and am prepared to fill-in for anyone, anytime. I feel confident with the software and graphics we use. I am a social media addict, posting weather/news updates 24/7 to our wonderful, loyal viewers. The biggest event of this past month, however, has been tracking my first hurricane as a full-time meteorologist/reporter.

Hurricane Arthur was not your typical, run-of-the-mill hurricane, of course. This was the first named storm of the 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season, developed to a category 2 before making landfall near Cape Lookout, North Carolina, and was the first hurricane to make a U.S. landfall since Isaac in 2012. As it barely grazed the coast of southeast North Carolina, I was sweating it for a bit when I thought it wasn’t going to make the easterly turn computer models were showing. The center of circulation came about 20 miles from our coast and we were lucky enough to experience only the weaker, western half of the storm.

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All of this was playing out during my third week (barely) on air. Might I add, I was also filling in for the first time on weekday evenings. Whew! All odds seemed to be against me. I tried to tell myself,

“Lauren, you grew up in hurricanes. You’ve always dreamt of this day. You can do this. Keep your head up. THIS IS YOUR DREAM!”

So, as best as I could (for being a “rookie” as one lovely viewer email put it) I tracked the you-know-what out of Hurricane Arthur. So much so, I think I scared the storm away. Well, I like to pretend I have those powers. 🙂

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All in all, whatever on-air jitters I had pre-Arthur are now completely gone. While I know I have a LOT to learn, I’m comfortable, confident, and extremely thankful for the experience Arthur gave me. I’ve been “blessed by fire” as my mentor, Kait Parker says. I’m so fortunate to have been thrown into the thick of it all. I’m even more grateful for my news director and chief meteorologist for trusting rookie Lauren to help forecast the storm.

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If this is just the slightest sign of what’s to come during my time in Wilmington, I can’t wait to for the future to “bring it!” I’m ready and willing to conquer any challenges that come my way.

P.S. I officially am part of the WECT News family. You can read my brief bio on the WECT website. Happy Friday!

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P.P.S My kitten, Maci is still adorable.

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