We Love Weather Exclusive

On the Road with Mike Seidel: 2016 Edition

It’s always fun to look back at the all of the live coverage over the past year and the extreme weather I’ve been “lucky” enough to cover. And for the first time in my 25-year career at The Weather Channel, I started and ended 2016 covering the same story: a sub-zero Minnesota Vikings tailgate. And even though it was 10° colder in December, it was hard to tell after 4 hours in a parking lot! As Bob Hope Said, “Thanks For the Memories.”

2016 by the numbers:

Number of days on the road: 142

Number of cities and towns: 80

Number of states: 24 (Since 1996: 44)

Number of airline flights: 74

Number of live shots: 1145 (Since 1996: 19,048)

Number of inches of snow: 179.6″

Number of Tropical Storms/Hurricanes: 4 (Since 1996: 62)

Number of pieces of grilled salmon: 174

January

The first trip of the year was into the icebox of MN and a Vikings tailgate. It was -10° with a wind chill of -30° that morning and it ended up being the 3rd coldest NFL game on record with a kick off temperature of -6°. You can get frostbite in as little as 10 minutes to any exposed skin. I was wearing 8 layers to stay warm and my face felt like it was going to crack at times. I ended up with dry eyes, which makes your eyes VERY sensitive to light. After about a week of Rx drops I was fine, but now I carry eye drops with me all winter. Following coverage of lake-effect snow off Erie and Ontario (first time during the same trip), it was all about Winter Storm Jonas, which set all-time record snowfalls in Baltimore (29.2″) and New York City (27.5″) and Allentown, PA (31.9″), among others. And for the first time in 140 years, you could legally go sledding at the Capitol, so I had to partake!

Locations: Minneapolis Vikings Tailgate and New Brighton, MN Frigid Cold. Mayfield, OH (2.0″) and Silver Creek, Angola, Hamburg, Orchard Park and Buffalo, NY Lake Effect (10.7″). Syracuse, Nedrow and North Syracuse, NY Lake Effect (6.1″). Washington, DC. Snow (17.8″).

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 11.44.27 AMTrying To Stay Warm At -10° At The Minnesota Vikings Tailgate January 10, 2016. Thanks To The Cheerleaders For Being Good Sports!

Your Basic White Out On The Highway in Syracuse, NY January 18, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 11.47.17 AMTurn Right And You Can’t Miss It!

Winter Storm Jonas Washington, DC January 23, 2016

Live Coverage From the Capitol On January 23, 2106

Finally, It’s Legal! Sledding At The U.S. Capitol January 24, 2016

Sled Cam As I Head Down Capitol Hill For The First Time January 24, 2016

February

How about a Groundhog Day snowstorm in Denver? And a big one at that. 11.6″ fell on the first two days of the month. From there it was back to the Southeast MA where I spent just about the entire winter of 2015. This would be my first of two stops, Plymouth, for 8.1″ of snow. At the end of the month severe weather season got underway with a killer tornado in LA.

Locations: Aurora and Denver, CO Snow (11.6″). Plymouth and Boston, MA Snow (8.1″) Charlotte, NC Freezing Rain Threat. Buffalo, NY Snow (8.9″). Atlanta, GA Warm-up. Jackson, MS Severe Storm Threat. Convert, LA Tornado Aftermath.


Melting All Of That Snow At DIA on February 2, 2016

Not Quite A Blizzard But Close In Plymouth, MA February 8, 2016

7″ In 8 Hours in Downtown Buffalo on February 16, 2016

EF-2 Tornado Aftermath at the Sugar Hill RV Park in Convent, LA. Winds Estimated Up to 125 MPH. 2 Were Killed, 31 Injured/ 7 Critical At The Park.

March

On the road covering heavy rain and potential flash flooding along the Gulf Coast early in March. My second stop in southeast MA was the Boston suburb of Braintree. We kicked off spring with a solid 6″ of heavy, wet snow. Two days later I was in Green Bay for 7.5″. I wrapped up the month covering severe weather and breaking in one of our newly equipped weather vehicles with photographer Brad Reynolds. They allow us to go live while driving. Between Tupelo, MS and Tuscaloosa, AL we pulled over several times and let tornado warned storms pass by ahead of us!

Locations: Virginia Beach, VA Storm. Houston, TX Flood Threat. New Orleans, LA Flood Threat. East Peoria, IL Severe Storms. Aurora, IL Wind. Braintree, MA Snow (6.0″). Green Bay, WI Snow (7.5″). Tuscaloosa, Tupelo and Birmingham Severe Storms.


Driving from Houston to New Orleans In Your Basic “Frog Strangler” on March 10, 2016

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Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 11.55.12 AMBefore (First Day Of Spring) And After in Braintree, MA March 20–21, 2016

Jim Cantore Had Me Roll Down The Hill And I Lose My Phone, But Moments Later…..!
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 11.57.05 AMThe Perks Of Flying Almost Every Week: An Upgrade To First Class And Unlimited Coke Zeros. Flying To Milwaukee Then The Drive North to Green Bay on March 22, 2016

Thanks To NWS Green Bay For Letting Us Cover A Weather Balloon Launch Live. Watch What Happens As They Deal With The Wind On March 23, 2016.

We Also Update Social Media In Addition To Live Shots on TWC. This Is The Drive From Birmingham To Tuscaloosa On March 31, 2016.
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 11.59.31 AMHaving Some Fun at The Birthplace of Elvis Presley in Tupelo, MS on March 31, 2016.

April

The biggest snowstorm I covered in 2016 was in a spot known for large dumps of snow in the Spring, the foothills of CO. They got slammed and I measured 30″ over two days in mid-April in Idaho Springs. That brought the 2015–16 seasonal total for me to 143.1″ of snow at all of my stops…..not too shabby!

Locations: Atlanta, GA Frost. Denver Snowstorm Preview and Idaho Springs, CO Snow (30.0″). Wichita, KS Severe Storm Threat.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.00.13 PMAs The Storm Got Underway, This City Employee Was Out Fertilizing The Grass In Idaho Springs, CO On April 15, 2016. Afterall, It is Spring!

Spring Snowstorm In Idaho Springs, CO On April 16, 2016.
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.00.21 PM28″ And Counting In Idaho Springs, CO on April 19, 2016

May

A stop at the National Weather Center and the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, OK before hitting the road for severe weather. Then off to the beach and an early start to the 2016 Hurricane Season in Myrtle Beach on the 28–29th for Tropical Storm Bonnie. It was downgraded to a depression for our second day of coverage. The airport picked up .91″ of rain and the peak gust was 18 MPH.

Locations: Atlanta, GA Showers. Woodward, OK Severe Storm Threat. Norman, OK and Salina and Wichita, KS Severe Storm Threat. Myrtle Beach, SC Tropical Storm/Depression Bonnie.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.03.15 PMThe National Weather Center On The Campus Of The University Of Oklahoma On May 24, 2016.

Tracking Severe Storms Along I-135 near Moundridge, OK.
SeidelPAno2016Panoramic View Of A Severe Thunderstorm Looking North From McPherson, KS on May 26, 2016.
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.05.34 PMWhen Crews Cross Paths: From Left To Right: Producer Mike Fomil, Storm Tracker Kelley Williamson, Meteorologist Mike Seidel, Producer Mike Bogad In Wichita, KS May 27, 2016

The Day Before Tropical Depression Bonnie Rolled Up The SC Coast It Was Breezy With Elevated Surf In Myrtle Beach, SC On May 27, 2016

June and July

Of note was covering the deadly aftermath of flash flooding in WV.

Locations: Marietta, GA Drought. Myrtle Beach, SC Rip Currents/1st Day of Summer. Chicago, IL Severe Storm Threat. Elkview, WV Flooding Aftermath. Summerville, GA Drought.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.06.53 PMOur Rip Current Coverage Included A Beautiful Sunrise Over Myrtle Beach, SC On The First Day of Summer, June 20, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.07.03 PMWhat’s Left Of The Bridge Into The Crossings Mall Shopping Center In Elkview, WV Following Flash Flooding On June 24, 2016

When Flash Flooding Washed Out The Bridge And The Only Way In And Out Of This Shopping Center In Elkview, WV, The DOT Worked Non Stop To Build A Road on June 25, 2016 So Hundreds Of Trapped People Could Leave.
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.07.10 PMDrought Wiped Out This Field Of Hay Near Rome, GA July 29, 2016

August

5.96″ of rain in 2 hours sent the Patapsco River roaring down Main St. in Ellicott City, MD, killing two. More flooding, with a 5-day tour from FL to LA and then returning the following week to the Baton Rouge/Lafayette areas to cover the rising waters and the aftermath. Goes to show you that you don’t need a named tropical system to cause serious problems. At the end of the month it was off the South Beach in Miami to cover Invest 99L. It didn’t develop into Hermine until the following week, so there wasn’t much weather, just a few showers. I did get a chance to swim in the warmest water of my life: 90° (kind of like soup) From there it was up the coast to Kill Devil Hills on the Outer Banks of NC for the last 3 days of August waiting for Tropical Depression #8 to become a tropical storm. It didn’t and not a drop of rain.

Locations: Ellicott City, MD Flood Aftermath. Cedar Key, Crystal River, Cross City, Perry, Carrabelle, Panama City, Port St. Joe, FL Flood Threat. New Orleans, LA Flood Threat. Brittany and Crowley, LA Flooding. Youngsville, LA Flooding Aftermath. Miami Beach, FL Tropical Invest 99L. Kill Devil Hills, NC Tropical Depression #8.


Deadly Flooding Along The Patapsco River And The Aftermath On August 1, 2016

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.11.28 PM


We’re driving On U.S. 98 In Cross City, FL And I Look Right And There’s Kevin Mullins Cutting Grass In A Tropical Downpour. So We Pull Over And Grab Him For An Interview Using Our Roof Camera. Watch What The Mower Is Actually Doing.

Flooding In Brittany, LA on August 16, 2016

Flooding At Sunrise in Crowley, LA on August 17, 2016

Strong Outflow From Yet Another Storm That Brought More Flooding Rainfall To Lafayette, LA On August 17, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.20.07 PMA Full Moon Illuminates Piles of Debris Following Flooding In Youngsville, LA on August 18, 2016

As We Were Leaving Lafayette, LA Another Storm And More Rain Delayed Our Departure on August 18, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.21.23 PMAs We Watched 99L From South Beach, We Were Treated To A Beautiful Sunrise And Yoga on August 26, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.22.00 PMCoverage From Kill Devil Hills, NC On August 30, 2016.
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.22.43 PMSometimes It Helps to Get the LiveU As High As Possible To Better Hit A Cell Phone Tower And Get Our Picture Out. Here Producer Mike Fomil Shows The Proper Method. (That’s Photographer Rodney Hall.) Some Think The Metal Plate In His Head Actually Boosts The Signal.
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.23.21 PMSunrise Over The Atlantic in Kill Devil Hills, NC On August 29, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.23.26 PMAnd Sunset On The Same Day in Kill Devil Hills, NC
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.23.33 PMThe Best Part About Our 3 days In Kill Devil Hills? The 25 Cent Shrimp During Happy Hour At Our Hotel, The Sea Ranch Resort. It Basically Worked Out To About $5/Pound.

September

99L eventually strengthened to Hermine which made landfall in FL as a Category 1 hurricane on Sept. 2nd. I caught Hermine’s impacts as it was scooting off the Outer Banks of NC (as a Post Tropical Cyclone) from VA Beach at the beginning of Labor Day Weekend. Then it was up the coast to Rehoboth Beach, DE on Sunday which was a splendid sunny day, but no swimming allowed due to the rip currents from Hermine. Less than 2 weeks later I made my first live coverage stop in my career on the GA coast to cover Tropical Storm Julie on St. Simons Island. During the last week of the month I spent 4 days on IA flooding.

Locations: VA Beach, VA Hermine. Rehoboth Beach, DE Hermine. St. Simons Island, GA, Folly Beach and Charleston, SC Tropical Storm Julia. Waterloo, Vinton and Cedar Rapids, IA Flooding.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.25.15 PMCoverage Leading Up To Hermine On Croatan Beach, VA September 1, 2016. Thanks To Pat And Debbie McLaughlin For Their Incredible Hospitality And The Photos.

Coverage On The Weather Channel on Virginia Beach September 3, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.27.02 PMBecause I Was In The Worst Of Hermine’s Weather, I Was on TWC Just About Every Segment For 6 Hours And Had No Time To Take A Break Inside The Hotel. So This Was My Shelter From The Wind, Rain And Blowing Sand.

Coverage On The Weather Channel From Rehoboth Beach, DE on September 4, 2016

The Community Really Pitches In These Situations. Waterloo, IA September 23, 2016

Holding Back The Cedar River Is No Easy Task, But The City Of Cedar Rapids Prevailed This Time
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.29.39 PMAnd What Reminded Me Of The Berlin Wall Masterfully Saved Cedar Rapids

October

Hurricane Matthew formed in the Caribbean and I was off to Cuba for my second trip to the country to cover tropical weather. We headed to the eastern end of the island and Santiago de Cuba. The worst of the weather ended up staying to our east but it was once again a great experience to return to Cuba. To beat Matthew back to FL, we spent over 10 hours driving 400 miles to an airport that had departing flights to the U.S. After overnighting in Ft. Lauderdale, I headed north to Ft. Pierce and was on the air as Matthew passed just to our east. Heavy rain and gusts to 60 MPH was the worst of it along I-95, and the power went out. The next day a drive south to West Palm Beach and it was off to Wrightsville Beach, NC via Atlanta to catch Matthew for a third time the next morning (that’s a first). Fortunately on the immediate coast it wasn’t as bad as in FL, with beach erosion being the biggest impact. But inland it was a deadly disaster with record flooding which we covered in Lumberton and Fayetteville, NC.

Locations: Siboney Beach and Santiago de Cuba, Cuba Hurricane Matthew. Ft. Pierce, FL and Wrightville Beach, NC Hurricane Matthew. Lumberton and Fayetteville, Flooding.

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.30.55 PMSome Of The Damage Caused By The Higher Tides And Wave Action From Hurricane Matthew in Siboney Beach, Cuba October 4, 2016

Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.31.02 PMThis Is How They “Boarded Up” At Siboney Beach, Cuba October 4, 2016. They Were Trying To Prevent Debris Including Rocks From Entering Their Home.

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Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.31.15 PMMore Damage From Hurricane Matthew Even Though We Were Far From The Center At Siboney Beach, Cuba On October 4, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.31.22 PMHere’s NBC’s Legendary Kerry Sanders Keeping His Hands Clean As Our Wonderful Cuban Crew Change A Flat Tire. It Was A 400 Mile, 10-Hour Trip Dodging Potholes And Livestock On Mostly Two-Lane Roads From Santiago de Cuba To Santa Clara On October 5, 2016.

Some Of Our Live Coverage Of Hurricane Matthew. This Is Just After Midnight In Ft. Pierce, FL October 7, 2016

Some Of The Worst of Hurricane Matthew at Wrightsville Beach, NC Just A Few Hours After It Made Landfall To Our South On October 8, 2016.

Hurricane Matthew Took A Big Bite Out Of Wrightsville Beach, NC. This Was The Morning After, October 9, 2016.

Flooding From The Lumber River In Lumberton, NC Following Hurricane Matthew on October 9, 2016 

The Lumber River Not Only Shut Down I-95 But It Just About Split Lumberton, NC In Two On October 9, 2016

November

Drought was a big story in the Southeastern US during the Summer and Fall. In some spots it didn’t rain for over two months. This led to hundreds of fires (unfortunately in many cases blamed on arson), which I covered in AL, NC and TN. This included the deadly fire that swept across the mountains into Gatlinburg and nearby areas of eastern TN. Meanwhile up north, the record warmth subsided and the first snows of the season arrived. Nothing like starting out the season with a blizzard! We were about 3 hours north of the Twin Cities in Grand Rapids for 17.5″ of wind-driven snow. A couple of days later it was the first-lake effect snow of the season in western and central NY. Between MN and NY I measured 33.0″ in 3 days. Syracuse picked up a healthy 20.7″ in 2 days.

Locations: Lincoln, AL and Haysville, NC Drought/Fires. Grand Rapids, MN Blizzard (17.5″). Sinclairville, Perryburg and Syracuse Lake Effect (15.5″). Gatlinburg, TN Fire Aftermath.


One Of The Hundreds Of Fires Across The Southeast, This One In Lincoln, AL On November 3, 2016. Just About All Of Them Burned Low To The Ground.

Dirty Air For Millions in the Southeast From The Fires. It All Depended On The Wind Direction On A Particular Day. This Was November 3, 2016

Blizzard In Grand Rapids, MN on November 18, 2016

Nearly A White Out Driving Around Grand Rapids, MN on November 18, 2016

They Now How To Deal With It In The Snowiest City in America. At The Syracuse Airport November 21, 2106 And No Delay!

Just Some Of The Horrible Devastation From The Fire in Gatlinburg, TN on November 30, 2016. This Was The Youth Center At The First Baptist Church. The Church Was Spared.

December

First stop, a snowy tailgate at Lambeau Field as the Packers beat the Texans 21–13. More lake effect as we traveled around the Chautauqua Ridge chasing down snow bands in 5 communities. Then it was off to MN for some of the coldest weather I’ve ever experienced. I spent 5 days in sub-zero cold and I wrapped up 2016 at the same place I started the year, at a Vikings tailgate. But this time around it was 10° colder: -20° with the wind chill down to -34°. It was just plain brutal, even with 9 layers on. The game though, unlike in January, was played indoors.

Locations: Green Bay, WI Packers Tailgate (3.7″). North Boston, Springville, Mayville, Ashville and Chautauqua Lake Effect (16.1″). Minneapolis Frigid Cold and Snow (6.1″)/Packers Tailgate and St. Paul Bitter Cold.


Nothing Like A Packers Tailgate at Lambeau Field!

Tailgating With Packers Fans And The Boys In The Band on December 4, 2016

The Packers Score And The Crowd Goes Wild at Lambeau on December 4, 2016!

Driving Through A Heavy Lake-Effect Snow Band From Springville To The NY State Thruway on December 8, 2016

Meet My Crew At The End Of Another 14-hour Day Out In It In Mayville, NY December 8, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.46.18 PM3″ An Hour In Mayville, NY December 8, 2016

Live Coverage From Mayville, NY During The Heaviest Band 0n December 8, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.47.48 PMMy View In Mayville, NY December 8, 2016
Screen Shot 2017-01-03 at 12.47.54 PMOver Easy And Frozen In Minutes At -8° at Union Depot in St. Paul, MN December 15, 2016.

When It Snows At 10° It’s 100% Powder. This Was The Warmest Temperature In The 6 Days We Were In The Twin Cities.

Who Knew That Beer And Fire Would Go Viral? 3700 Re-Tweets And On Facebook 1.7 Million Impressions And 523,000 Watched The Video.

If you’d like to see more live coverage from 2016, here’s the link to various shots from across the country:

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLicl2EvkQc13zVNKozbA8iBtQPQ43C8zq


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3 Comments


  1. Thank you for all that you guys do! I love the Elvis shot. TWC kept me sane when I had to “weather” (see what I did there?) Jonas alone due to my husband being deployed. If I could’ve gotten out of my driveway, I would’ve joined you for sledding at the Capitol!

  2. Mike, You’re the man when it comes to live shots!!!
    You’re always in the thick of it when the weather turns bad. I love the look-back to see the live shots from last year. It might not be the most glamorous position on the team but it suits you like like no other. I always look forward to your live shots and seeing what weather is happening “Real-Time” with “Real People” and how to keep safe during the event.
    We appreciate the effort.
    Keep up the great work.

  3. Thanks for the insights & behind the scenes shots. On air reporting isn’t as glamorous as I thought.. sheltering in an outhouse..?

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