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From the Field: Boston Day 1

I'm laying on my hotel bed, flipping between radars and waiting for this Ocean Effect band to sneak in to Boston ahead of the Main Event. Today was my first day in the field away from NYC for FOX Weather, and my first time in Boston, essentially. I'm here to support Meteorologist Jane Minar & our crew with a Nor’easter inbound.

I woke up around 5:45a and started my day coordinating with TV & Weather Producers back in NY at FOX Weather HQ right away. I sat on my floor with my laptop for an hour before showering and putting on 3 pairs of pants and many shirts.

I had gone on a walk the night before to location scout. (with no technology. ahhhh. It was a vibe.) Boston was mostly quiet, it felt like I had it to myself. This part of Boston feels super safe. I walked north and west until I found an angle of the skyline that hit me. Ended up here.

I saw a food truck pulled onto the brick pathway last night, so I knew our gigantic FOX Weather Beast broadcast truck would fit. It was a quiet park surrounded by busy streets, so we had active city shots with the buildings and cars and people around. It took me a minute to get all my tech straightened out, and we had some power supply issues that had me a little tweeked as we approached our 10am A Block, which Jane was gonna anchor solo. Like it tends to, it all worked out just in time, and soon we were grooving. (I did have to run back the hotel get a power strip, so I pretended I was local on a jog, and not wearing jeans.)

Jane was a monster, hosting 4 hours and doing reporter hits for another for all while keeping up with so many weather and Boston-related tidbits. Jeff and Lloyd handled audio and video, both seasoned pros. They definitely helped keep me on the rails today, if only for my knowing they would nail their part at least if I missed something.

People were fun today. Huge reactions to seeing the big ol' Beast truck. I got sound bites from a handful of people on the street to get some content for Jane. It was a blast. People were hilarious and gave really animated responses. That was fun for me, another first. We had a lotta people approach us about the snow all day. Most asking when the snow starts, or "is it actually gonna snow?" One lady kicked Jeff's car. One guy had a ski mask that had a slit for his beard to come through. One guy showed us his prosthetic leg because he was really worried about getting into the snow and wanted a really genuine answer on the start time. Some people, younger dudes, would come up and just clearly start a convo hoping to be on TV. I always just immediately got out my phone and said alright, can I ask you a couple questions about the snow? One of those guys made air, but not the part where he said his plans were to watch Home Alone and Elf all night. (It is January 6th, sir.) But everyone was buzzing to see the lights and cameras out and the big FOX logo. You could hear it all day.

Our highlight was when Paul from the White Bull Tavern next to the location appeared in shorts and t-shirt, and in the thickest, jolliest Boston accent, warmly invited us into his bar for some pizzas on the house. He said he felt bad for us in the cold all morning. What a guy. We wrangled a 25 minute break between hits, and it was so worth it. Hot pizza and a place to sit was life giving at that point. What a gesture. What a legend. Mystical appearance Paul, never change.

It’s 10p, stopped writing awhile to go shoot some video. We just had a quick shot of fat, wet lake effect snow - er, ocean effect snow - as easterlies ahead of the main precip shoved some moisture our way. It turned to rain quickly, which is interesting for Boston’s eventual totals. We're not not close to the rain/snow line. It was sopping wet snow. It’s gonna have to cool down more. Upstream, it seems like it is getting it done, so we will see. Before the ocean affect hit, it was a vibe. Super high-contrast, convective, bubbling and rolling skies.

I’m ready for bed, but it’s chase mode activated. I’ll wait up for the front-end thwack on the main storm. I’ve been watching it on models for a week, I might as well check it out and get some video for Jane’s hits in the morning.

I might get a second bowl of clam chowder if I don’t see any flakes from this last gasp of ocean effect. But the hotel bar kitchen closes soon and honestly I don’t wanna move again unless/until I see ripping snow.

Covering weather in a big storm has been a dream of mine since I was a kid and It was a great first day. Tomorrow, as the storm strengthens over the ocean, is gonna be a different animal. 9a-6p with reporter hits. And then, hoping for my first lobster roll.

Oh, yeah, ok gotta go. It's happening. The first of a sequence of wild winter storms is here.


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