BIOGRAPHY

Where hasn’t Meteorologist Drew Anderson been live?

Armed with wireless technology, Drew got to report live while floating in a hot air balloon, riding on moving trains, cruising on boats, rising in a bucket truck, and the list goes on . . .

Drew Anderson live on a hot air balloon.

If you think all of those places are unique, so are his reports.  He has done entire interviews while roller skating around a track, riding a bike, and climbing a rock wall.

Drew Anderson in the middle of a rock wall.

Just like his reports, his weather forecasts are also friendly and engaging.

Known for accurate forecasting, Drew has earned the prestigious Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal of approval from The American Meteorological Society, an award from AccuWeather, and an Emmy nomination for excellence in weather reporting.

Viewers in central and eastern Pennsylvania have seen Drew’s forecasts for close to a decade and viewers from all across the United States have even seen his forecasts.

He did a live forecast on ESPN’s College GameDay, a forecast next to Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day for PBS, and live snowstorm analysis on The Weather Channel.

On location on Groundhog Day.

As Drew spoke on The Weather Channel, thunder roared from the snowstorm, which really, really excited their field reporter.  This lead to his interview going viral, and it even appeared on ABC’s late-night talk show, Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Drew “hails” from Pennsylvania (how could we not use that pun?), and he loves sharing Pennsylvania’s beautiful communities in the backgrounds of his weather graphics.  He began this tradition at WGAL in Lancaster, and over the years, he has photographed hundreds of local landmarks.  Before they go into the weather graphic system, Drew has to remove the sky and do other editing in Photoshop so that they’re compatible.

Drew Anderson reporting for WGAL.

At WGAL, viewers saw him each weekend on News 8 Today, and they watched him during the week on News 8 at Noon, where he’d even do the weather live from WGAL’s outdoor set.  From snowstorms to floods, if severe weather rolled into the Susquehanna Valley, Drew would report live in the middle of it all.  Back at the studio, he did a lot of behind-the-scenes work for the News 8 Storm Team.  He created a searchable weather records database that went back to 1880s, and he set the weather graphics to automatically update with the forecast when a meteorologist entered it on a digital forecast sheet.

After WGAL, Drew went up the road to the NBC in Wilkes-Barre, home of the widest TV viewing area–and forecasting area–east of the Mississippi River.

It takes nearly three hours to drive across the viewing area, so one general forecast doesn’t cut it for northeastern and central Pennsylvania viewers.  Every weekend on Eyewitness News, Drew gave regional forecasts for the mountain areas, the valleys, and all the microclimates in between.

He would frequently do these forecasts from the station’s rooftop set and even from places outside of the studio.  The Poconos Raceway gets his vote for the most fun live weather.

Drew Anderson on WBRE’s rooftop set.

During the week, he would write, produce and anchor the station’s daily lifestyles show, PALive!  On the show, he’d not only help chefs cook, but a few times, he went all Food Network and did the cooking by himself!

Drew Anderson in WBRE’s PA LIVE!’s kitchen.

If he wasn’t busy enough at WBRE, he’d work at FOX43 on his days off.  After doing that for a few years, he realized how much missed Lancaster County and the rest of the lower Susquehanna Valley.  So, he started doing weather five-days-a-week for FOX43.

Then, he added community reporting to his morning show schedule.  Drew showcased small businesses, places you didn’t know about in your backyard, and people making a difference in the community.

Drew Anderson giving the forecast live on air in the FOX43 studios.

On his time off from FOX43, Drew serves the community through teaching.  He substitutes at local high and middle schools, has meteorology night classes for adult learners, and lectures at West Chester University and Penn State Lehigh Valley.

Over the years, he has taught and designed classes in introductory meteorology, weather and risk, severe weather, physical geography, Earth science, natural disasters, weather and history, and community relations.

Students can take his class in person or online, and his innovation with online teaching has gained a lot of attention.  Several teaching with technology conferences have had Drew speak about his online teaching strategies and advice.

Drew holding his Penn State teaching award.

In 2017, Penn State Lehigh Valley awarded Drew with their excellence in teaching award.  They must have heard stories about his classes.  In them, Drew will suddenly jump on desks, pull out props, and do out-of-the-norm demonstrations to keep students engaged and entertained.

He’ll really do anything to get students excited about science, including bringing food.  Students in his meteorology class get popcorn, cotton candy, marshmallows, and soda.  See, he creates hands-on experiments with food and other household items to help students connect to and learn class topics.

Drew Anderson teaching students.

Drew also does his science demonstrations for Boy and Girl Scouts, museums, and elementary schools.

When Drew was a student at Penn State, he earned all the credits for his Bachelor of Science in meteorology, communications minor, and information sciences and technology minor in just three and a half years .  According to an adviser in the College of Communications, Drew became the first Penn State student to graduate with two communications minors.  In addition to his classes, Drew served as the program director of the University’s premium movie channel, a mathematics teaching assistant, and a weather camp counselor.  The College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, his own college, recognized his academic and extracurricular hard work by distinguishing him as a laureate graduate.

Drew Anderson at Penn State.

Before he graduated, he got to intern at his two stations he grew up watching.  At CBS3 in Philadelphia, they spoiled him: he went down the shore and to backyard barbecues to help the on-air meteorologists do live weather.  At WGAL in Lancaster, he  learned a lot about forecasting.

Drew Anderson at CBS3.

Besides TV, Drew has written weekly weather articles for newspapers in northeastern Pennsylvania and hosted music shows on radio stations in central and eastern Pennsylvania. Many radio stations in Pennsylvania have also aired Drew’s weather forecasts, including WMGK in Philadelphia.

Drew Anderson hosting his radio show.

Drew has also done some interesting things outside of Pennsylvania.  He has chased tornadoes, done the weather in Tornado Alley, designed the severe weather policy at a TV station in New York, given the forecast in French at a TV station seen in Canada, anchored breaking news, done traffic reporting, and got behind-the-scenes access to a NASA to report on a rocket launch.

Drew Anderson at NASA’s press room

Outside of work, Drew has done some unique things, too.

Before his vegetarian days, he judged a Kansas City Barbecue Society competition, an over the years, he has acted in a low-budget vampire movie, run from mock explosion as an extra in a Bollywood movie, scared people as a monster at a local haunted hayride, done in-game announcing at Roller Derby matches, held a world record for an hour at the World’s Largest Ball of Paint, visited all fifty states three times, and seen parts of every continent but Antarctica.  Yet, Antarctica is on his radar for December 2019.

Drew Anderson in the mask shop of a haunted hayride.

Drew looks forward to hearing from you at anderson@psu.edu.

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