WOMEN TO WATCH
Multi-Tasking Mom and Meteorologist As the WESH 2 News Sunrise meteorologist, you may wake up with her every morning. She’s been forecasting the weather at WESH for the last 16 years and recently received the National Weather Association Broadcaster of the Year Award. But Amy Sweezey is also a mother of three, part-time homeschooler, author and advocate for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) careers.
by Kate Slentz
he landed in her career “on
of the time,” Amy explains.
accident” as she studied to be
A member of the National Weather
a journalist at Loyola Univer-
Association (NWA), Amy was presented
sity in Chicago. “I thought I
with the Broadcaster of the Year Award at
would do newspaper or radio.
the NWA’s national conference this past
I thought maybe TV but that wasn’t neces-
August. The NWA is a member-led pro-
sarily my ultimate goal. I just wanted to
fessional association supporting and pro-
tell stories and be a journalist,” she says.
moting excellence in operational meteo-
But after graduation she had a difficult
rology, and the award is presented to an
time finding a job. She did various free-
NWA member whose activities have sig-
lance and part-time work just to pay her
nificantly contributed to the development
rent in Chicago. “I went all over the coun-
and presentation of weather information
try doing interviews just trying to get a job.
for public service.
And I had lots of people tell me, ‘You look
She is still among the minority in
too young, you sound too young, you’ll never
weather forecasting as about 29% of
make in television.’ It didn’t really dis-
females make up all weathercaster posi-
courage me. I felt like this is what I wanted
tions, according to a study by the Ameri-
to do so I just kept going until I got a job,”
can Meteorological Society. “I think for a
long time, women had to work harder
She eventually landed a position in South
than men; they had to prove themselves
Bend, Indiana, and would drive two and a
more. I still think we do have to work
half hours from Chicago. “I only did it for
harder to overcome some of those stereo-
three months, but it was still a haul. I
types out there,” Amy says of the statistics
would drive back to Chicago to sleep and
of women in meteorology.
do my radio job,” she says. But when she
Kalamazoo. She was there for seven years
And technology has made it even easi-
was in South Bend, she started training
and that’s where she met her husband. “I
er for people to comment or complain on
with the meteorologist there and he was
thought I would stay there forever and
Amy’s appearance and weather forecast-
the one that inspired her to pursue weather.
then I realized it’s cold and snowy. I had
ing. “When I first got in the business we
She went back to school for training in
been a Midwestern girl my whole life and
didn’t have social media so if someone
meteorology at Mississippi State University.
I was sick of being cold. So, I started look-
wanted to complain to me, they had to get
Her next move led her to Western
ing for jobs in warm places. We moved
out a piece of paper and pen, write it down,
Michigan for a weekend weather job in
here and now I’m warm and sunny most
put it in an envelope, pay for a stamp, and