I had the pleasure of interviewing Ginger Zee at this year’s Weather Intelligence conference, ClimaCon 2021. Ginger is at the forefront of weather and plays a critical role in connecting weather and people as Chief Meteorologist at ABC News and Good Morning America. She has also experienced the impact of weather first hand and has covered hundreds of storms and represents the exact type of leader we celebrate with our Women of Weather interview series on TomorrowNow.org.
While my conversation focused on the inequalities of weather, the most critical point was around the importance of helping EVERYONE adapt to our changing global climate now.
For example, Hurricane Katrina was Ginger’s first major storm back in 2005 in New Orleans. During her time in the flood zones, Ginger’s perspective on “why” she wanted to be a meteorologist completely changed. Prior to experiencing Katrina, Ginger was fascinated with weather and that was her main driver for pursuing a career in the industry, however, once she talked to people and saw the devastation weather can bring at scale, she quickly shifted her rational to be 100% about people. Ginger left her Katrina experience asking one simple question, which has driven her passion ever since, which was “Why was there not a rescue before the rescue?”
From Ginger’s standpoint, she was baffled as to what was missing to help people BEFORE it was too late. From a weather technology standpoint, one of the points she highlighted (which relates closely to our mission here at TomorrowNow in Africa) is the lack of observations and worrying data and communications gaps.
She shared a story of a trip to Iguazu Falls in South America, where more than 1 million people visit everywhere. There’ isn’t a radar for more than 3 hours, which doesn’t allow for weather observations, and during filming Ginger wasn’t able to tell her production crews when rain would stop because they didn’t have observations in that part of the world!
“I woke up on the morning of our live TV report and my production crew is asking me when is this rain over? I said, I can’t tell you.”
The climate is changing and we need to adapt now. We are dedicated to solving this for EVERYONE at TomorrowNow.org. As Ginger says, “We have the technology and I would love to see the network we have extended to others.”
You can watch my conversation with Ginger in its entirety here!