Seasons Of Ron: The Beginnings

Posted at 7:25 PM, May 23, 2016

Endings have a way of taking us back to the beginning and the beginning for Ron Howes was in August of 1980 on his first day at NewsChannel 5.

“The weather is the one story in our newscast that affects everybody directly,” Ron said in a 1984 interview just a few years after he started.

Television was not his original intention, he graduated from Indiana State with a degree in physics  but his eyes were always drawn to the sky.

“I had a 9th grade teacher who did a terrific science unit and that's I think when I got hooked on the weather,” Ron recalls.

After getting his first on air job in 1973 a bit of luck brought Ron to channel 5 but it was the viewers of Middle Tennessee who were ultimately the lucky ones.

“I'm still doing today what I did in 1980, that is I take about three and a half minutes to explain what the weather will be like in the next few days but the technology is entirely different,” the 68-year-old says.

Until Ron came along the term meteorologist was not synonymous with the word scientist. Ron though brought a level of intellect and passion for technology that Nashville had never seen.

When he started it took entire rooms filled with computers to provide a forecast that by today's standard would hardly live up to the word "accurate."
When he first started - weather radar was only in black and white.

But it was because of Ron's leadership and commitment to the forecast that some of the best and newest technology was rolled out at NewsChannel 5.

After a massive tornado tore through downtown Nashville in 1998, Ron's focus was to find better ways of giving people more warning.

“I think everyone in town improved their storm tracking technology because of that,” he says about the devastating storm.

“If you're in somebody's living room every night they feel like they know you,” Ron adds.

Always at his best, when Mother Nature is at her worst.