BOSTON (CBS) – Every year about this time, the WBZ-TV Weather Team unveils their predictions for the winter ahead. It takes months of studying the science and pouring through lots and lots of data.

Monday, the team released their long range Winter Weather Forecast, which calls for a “front loaded winter” with “plenty of snow” and a “cold start.” You can read the details here.

Because any forecast is very complicated, WBZ-TV Chief Meteorologist Eric Fisher hosted an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, where people asked about everything from snowfall predictions, to the pitfalls of forecasting, the perks of being on TV, and even some craft beer questions. Here are some highlights.

What are the top 3 hardest places in the country to meteorologize (new word, feel free to use it on air) from in your opinion?

I’d definitely say southern New England is at the top of that list. We have wild swings between hot and cold and feature every variety of weather from snowstorms to tornadoes, hurricanes to floods, wind events and coastal flooding. It really brings in every aspect except desert weather.
Would also say it’s very tricky in places with lots of microclimates over a small area, like Seattle, WA or San Francisco, CA. It can be in the 50s on the Bay in SF and 100 a short drive east at the same time. All has to do with mountain ranges, the ocean, and wind directions. Seattle has convergence zones and rain shadow features to try and figure out on a daily basis thanks to their complex local terrain, too.

How bad do you anticipate metro Boston is going to get pummeled this season and (more importantly) which of the three ski states (VT, ME, and NH) is gonna get hit hardest?

Here’s my take on the winter ahead:
I think all of ski season could really have a great winter with solid snowfall. La Ninas tend to feature a storm track that favors northern New England for the more ‘pure’ snowstorms and there’s plenty of snow over Canada providing a good source of cold air.

What was your favorite weather event to cover (on location) during your time at the Weather Channel (and why, of course)? (Edit: maybe ‘favorite’ isn’t the best word, but ‘most interesting/memorable’?)
And, off topic, do you think there will ever be a better sports highlight than Don and Jerry losing it over Here comes the pizza?

At TWC covering snowstorms was great because I would leave Atlanta, go enjoy a full-fledged blizzard, and then come home to warm and sunny weather. Best of both worlds!
The most ‘memorable’ were always the tornadoes. They are really beyond words to see in person. The ones that stick out the most to me were Moore, OK and the Superoutbreak in 2011. Unreal damage.

When news anchors segue to you and the weather, and sort of complain how there’s rain in the forecast, do you ever feel like telling them and the viewing audience something along the lines: “We’re the only known planet with abundant water to sustain life. You people should be high-fiving every time there’s raindrops falling from the sky.”

Yep! 100% haha
I often try to implore people not to put emotions or feelings on the weather. There is no ‘bad’ or ‘good’ weather. There’s just weather. We need rain. We get storms. We love sun too but it can’t be sunny all the time or else everything would die. So I try to just tell the story of what’s happening and what’s interesting about it.

Any times you had to improvise and be off script while on the air? How did it go? Also, is there legit rivalries betweeen local news or do y’all have a summer BBQ time to time.

Straight up Ron vs Wes Mantooth style vs the competition
Hah…in all seriousness it’s quite a great group of colleagues in New England weather. We all know each other, we all chat. I’m frequently texting or emailing with other mets, even at other stations, about the weather. We’ve got good ones here in Boston!
Fun fact about the weather: There is no script. It’s the only job at the station where everything is ad libbed. In fact, I find it way harder to read a script than to just have a conversation. I think this is why the weather resonates with so many people…it’s very conversational and if done right should be like hearing what tomorrow will be from your neighbor next door.

Serious question, what’s the best perk of the job? Also what’s your Dunkin daily order?

Hmmmmm…well I suppose I’d have to say getting to go to some of the Patriots games and other big events in the area. That being said, a lot of the time you’ll see me do weather on the field, and I end up having to leave before kickoff! Often need to get back to the station for the next newscast.
Standing Dunks order is a cold brew with milk, no sugar

Eric! I know you are a big beer lover.. What’s your favorite brew as of late and what’s a brewery you’ve yet to try, but excited to get to?

Gotta say I’m really loving Idle Hands in Malden right now. They’ve got a new one out called 6-seam that’s up there with anything Trillium or Treehouse is putting out. Worth a try and kind of under the radar.
Big fan of Exhibit A too…Cats Meow is a staple. And Kent Falls makes amazing brews out in northwest CT.

You can read more of Eric’s answers in the full Reddit AMA.


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