After a 12-year absence from the local television market, weatherman Bryan Norcross is getting ready for a big comeback to South Florida’s airwaves.
In a sense, Norcross, 67, is coming home to WPLG Local 10, the station that gave him his South Florida start in 1983.
And with Norcross, the ABC affiliate adds yet another heavy-hitter to a lineup of hurricane meteorologists that already includesMax Mayfield, the former director of the National Hurricane Center.
“It’s definitely a homecoming for me,” Norcross said from the station’s newsroom this afternoon. “This area has been my home for 35 years. And I have the opportunity to work with Max. It made a lot of sense.”
Norcross is not slated to take his place in the station’s day-to-day rotation but will take a starring role as soon as a hurricane approaches.
He said he knew he wanted to return to the local market when he took to Facebook in late August as Hurricane Irma’s track looked like a direct hit on South Florida.
“I ended up with a reach of over 8.8 million people over a period of three days,” Norcross said. “Just me on a computer. Most of the traffic was from here. It showed me there’s nothing like having a connection with the people in the place you know best.”
Station officials, meanwhile, greeted Norcross’ arrival with glee.
“This is an unprecedented combination of weather knowledge and forecasting experience at one television station,” said WPLG President Bert Medina. “We will spare no resources when it comes to preparing our viewers for approaching hurricanes. Our primary mission as a local broadcaster is to keep our viewers informed and safe.”
Norcross started at WPLG in 1983, three years after he graduated from Florida State University.
In 1990, he moved to WTVJ NBC 6, and that’s where he became known for his tireless, level-headed, science-based coverage of Hurricane Andrew. He put in a continous 23 hours and, for many stranded South Floridians, became the only link to the outside world and information.
Norcross moved to WFOR CBS 4 in 1996. He quit 10 years later and founded an emergency management communications business.
Norcross started appearing on The Weather Channel as storm specialist in 2010.
“I still have a desk in Atlanta,” he said of TWC, “but there’s nothing like the local market. This might be my last job. Who knows? But I’m looking forward to it.”