I’m Meteorologist Jim Cantor and This Is How I Work
When Jim Cantor lands in town, it hits the news. During a major weather event like Hurricane Dorian, news outlets are even speculating about its next destination . Because Kantor not only appears on shows like AMHQ and Storm Stories: The Next Chapter , but is also responsible for reporting severe weather on site. He has superfans all over the place, and when he’s in awe of the weather,it goes viral . We spoke with Jim about his long career in the weather, his insane wake-up times and his biggest mistake.
Location: Atlanta, Georgia. Current job: Meteorologist with a camera on the Weather Channel television network. Current PC: I have a Dell laptop, monitor and docking station on my desk at headquarters. While people might think I have the most luxurious car, I really don’t. I just need a reliable computer that allows me to access all of my favorite websites, which I keep open in different tabs 24/7. Current mobile device: I have an Apple iPhone 8. I’m not trying to get a new iPhone right now because I know that many features are different and I’m the type of person who, if it’s not broken, won’t get it fixed. This. I just need a phone that allows me to Twitter and chat with my favorite storm watchers, and I’m fine. One word that best describes the way you work: diligent
Tell us a little about your past and how you became who you are today.
I’ve always been obsessed with the weather since I was a kid, so when I was an adult to go to college, my father advised me to study meteorology. And so I did. I went to Lyndon State College and worked at the school TV station, and when I was graduating, I got a job offer from The Weather Channel and I loved it. I strive to continue working online until I retire, so I can say that I have worked for The Weather Channel my entire career.
What are your job responsibilities?
I am an operational forecaster and I research weather data, and as a broadcaster I must make this data and information readily available to the American public. When I report in the field, I keep the public informed during severe storms and weather events by talking about each update as game by game, like a sports broadcaster that shares updates during a baseball game.
Tell us about a recent work day.
I wake up every day at 3:15 am, this is the middle of a damn night, and this is the hardest part of my job. Getting up early tires you.
The first thing I do after I get up is go to my computer and read all the weather data that day. Then I pack up, drive to headquarters and arrive about an hour before the show starts. I always know everything I’m going to say before I walk through the door.
Once in the office, I put on my makeup, turn on the microphone, and then play AMHQ [ America’s Morning Headquarters ]. After the talk, I participate in the network’s morning editorial meeting and, depending on the day, can go and do voice recordings for our new show, Storm Stories: The Next Chapter.
After a full day at headquarters, I go home and take a nap, then go for a good workout, and then I have dinner. I usually calm down for the night around 8:00 pm and sleep by 9:00 pm. Then I wake up and the next day I do it again.
What apps, gadgets or tools can’t you live without?
How is your workplace arranged?
At the Weather Channel headquarters, I sit next to the newsroom and open-plan studios. I have a desk, laptop, docking station, two monitors, and a desk line. I use one monitor to display the current weather, while the other constantly displays all of my visited sites. I prefer to sit at my desk in an ergonomic chair rather than at a desk.
What’s your favorite shortcut or hack?
Using Twitter for fast and mobile collection of weather news.
Tell us about an interesting, unusual, or challenging process you have at work.
The picky process at work is to turn on my microphone and IFB; Obviously I never put them on correctly, so the director of the hall always removes them, haha.
Who are the people who help you achieve results, and how do you rely on them?
Weather makers! My work is impossible without them. They upload graphics, they get me real-time information when I need it, and more. We stay connected using unique studio technology that allows us to communicate in real time.
What’s the biggest mistake you made at work and how did you deal with it?
Several years ago, I tweeted the information I was given, but without knowing that I knew, the information was incorrect, so it seemed like I was misleading my followers, but that was not my intention. At that time, I apologized to my followers, and now I always check the information I share three times, so I hope I never come across the same scenario again.
How do you keep track of what you need to do?
My executive assistant keeps me posted and updated on what’s on my plate. It’s a pleasure to work with her, and I am grateful for her help.
How to recharge or relax?
I have a lake house in the north of Georgia, and I go there and spend time on the water and in the sun. I love spending time with my kids and I also do a lot of landscaping.
What are you reading now or what do you recommend?
I’m not a big reader, but I love watching old war films. Band of Brothers on HBO is the next show on my list to watch. I’ve never watched the show because it’s hard for me to sit still, but I want that to be the first thing I overeat to.
What kind of music do you listen to?
I love 80s rock like AC / DC and Bruce Springsteen. I also love country music.
Who else would you like to see to answer these questions?
Mike Trout, my friend and meteorological trainee. (He is also a center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels.)
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
My dad advised me to “do what you love” because you have to wake up every day and do it at work, so it’s better to do what you like. That’s why he advised me to study meteorology, and I’m so glad he did.
What problem are you still trying to solve?
Life balance. It is always difficult to be the best father, employer, friend, partner and everything in between. I’ve learned to simplify my life in order to best excel in these roles, and it really helps.