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In Austin, Meteorologists Feel the Summer Heat

To many local news viewers, nothing is more important than the weather — and in Texas, where a statewide drought has been plaguing the residents, viewers are watching closely for any sign of relief.

The Austin American-Statesmen profiles four meteorologists in the Austin market  — Scott Fisher (pictured) of KTBC, Mark Murray of KVUE, Troy Kimmel of KEYE and Jim Spencer of KXAN. The four of them agree: there’s no end in sight, and that fact alone makes forecasting close to impossible.

“I agonize over two or three degrees, because I want to be right 100 percent of the time,” Fisher said. All the meteorologists say they begin to prepare their forecasts hours before they go on the air — looking at maps, analyzing data and thinking of new ways to tell viewers that the weather will likely be hot and dry, again. (“Someone brought in a thesaurus the other day, and I said, ‘Hey, can I borrow that?’” Murray recalled.)

The weathercasters also say that the viewer feedback, especially in times of crisis, can be harsh. Spencer, who was told by one viewer recently that he smiled too much during his forecast, said, “Folks can get a little irritable at times.”

“They know it’s hot,” Fisher said. “We’re tough. We’ve gone through this before. They’re just looking for a break.”

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