Next week, the country will pause to celebrate the season of Thanksgiving.
But here at WJHL-TV, we’ll be celebrating something else…and giving thanks for three and half decades with a Tri-Cities Original.
Our very own Chief Meteorologist Mark Reynolds.
“How long have I been here? I have been here 35 years ago this month. Isn’t that great,” Mark said with a laugh while speaking with News Channel 11’s Josh Smith.
35 years is a long time in any industry, especially television news.
“Start date was November 26, 1984,” Mark said. “I was literally put on the air that first day I came to work.”
Forecasting the weather on television was a bit different back in 1984 compared to now.
“When I started here we had magnetics,” Mark said, recalling the way TV weather maps used to be.
But just like back then, Mark still starts his day by pouring over weather models and raw weather data in the hours leading up to the evening newscasts.
“I take great pride in that,” Mark said. “I like to do the forecasts myself and then compare it to what the National Weather Service puts out, so you compare it to others but I still keep my forecast.”
The decades of experience and hard work has led to a reputation for accuracy. But Mark is quick to point out that even after 35 years, sometimes he gets it wrong.
“I’m not perfect. I’ve gotten it wrong in the past,” Mark said. “I remember one time I forecasted snow. Opened the window and the sun was shining and not a drop. I closed the window and stayed in there until time to go to work. But it happens and that’s when you go on-air and talk about it. You have to talk about why it didn’t happen and why it didn’t snow.”
But one thing Mark has never gotten wrong, his love for the Tri-Cities area. Whether it’s helping raise money for charity, visiting local schools, or helping shelter pets get adopted…a passion that led to his well-known segment called Tails and Paws.
“Mark Reynolds has played a crucial role in finding thousands of homeless animals forever homes in our city,” said Tammy Davis with the Johnson City-Washington County Animal Shelter.
“Mark does this on his own time,” she added. “This is him volunteering to come down here and take the time to get the animals the exposure they need.”
Only a few cities in America have a three and a half-decade weather veteran on the air and online every day. Even fewer — one who truly loves what he does and loves where he lives.
Congratulations Mark on 35 years at WJHL-TV!
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