Don Paul | WNY Scientist 2014

donpaulVery early on, at the age of 7, the age at which most budding meteorologists are awestruck, Don Paul caught the weather bug. It shaped his life and sent him on his journey to become our beloved meteorologist. Born in Jersey City, N.J., he grew up just opposite of mid-town Manhattan.

While attending Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, Don completed the Army ROTC program. He served as 1st lieutenant at the U.S, Army Infantry School in Fort Benning, Ga. and retired from USAR with the rank of Captain. He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology with a minor in Political Science. Don said that he felt a bit intimidated by the mathematical requirements and that he almost walked away from his desire to become a broadcast meteorologist.

Don earned a living working for the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Public Affairs as a science writer and radio features reporter/producer on matters of public health, environmental sciences and regulatory challenges. In order to supplement his living, he wrote jokes for a New York radio personality for 9 years, which is evident from his sense of humor on TV. According to Don, one of his proudest non-accomplishments was that he was “personally passed over” by Johnny Carson as a staff writer for The Tonight Show, a position he was considered for twice.

Eventually, Don took a job in Bangor, Maine, where the closest weather facilities were 2 ½ hours away. Months later, he went to Wichita, Kansas, where he had access to a well-equipped weather station and some serious weather. It wasn’t until 1979 as a Meteorologist/Science Editor in Detroit, that Don, with the guidance of a mentor, expanded his hands-on learning of reading early meteorological models.

Initially arriving in Buffalo in 1984, and drawn by his love of lake effect snow, Don is the Chief Meteorologist of 4Warn Weather, for the highly viewed News 4 newscasts at 5, 6, 10 & 11 on weeknights. He has been chosen as Best Weather Anchor since 2005 in ARTVOICE’S Readers’ Choice poll and as Buffalo’s favorite television personality 3 times. He has come to cherish the warmth of the people as well as the choices of restaurants and entertainment, and truly calls Buffalo his home. Don is married to Deborah. He has two grown daughters, Leah and Leslie. Don is a full professional member of AMS, holds the American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval for Television Weathercasting, and completed a 3-year appointed term as Member, AMS Board of Broadcast Meteorology. Don’s continuing education (21 short courses to date) of AMS/National Weather Service includes interpretation of Doppler radar data, satellite meteorology, severe weather forecasting and flooding events as well as four on climate change to name a few.