Robert Reese, the chief meteorologist at WCIA in Champaign, Ill., died Tuesday night after battling pneumonia and cancer. He was 50.

WCIA anchor Jennifer Roscoe announced the news on Wednesday evening’s newscast, saying, “it is with great sadness and heartbreak that I have to tell you this tonight. I hoped I never would.” She described Reese as “a weather geek, a music lover, a car nut and most importantly, our friend.”

Reese, the morning and noon meteorologist, was last on the air in early September. His Facebook page was flooded with comments and memories from WCIA viewers Thursday morning.