Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Gene Norman ’82

Keeping his eyes on the skies

Growing up in an 11th-floor apartment in the Bronx, Gene Norman always felt close to the sky. It’s no wonder he was captivated by storms at a young age.

Gene Norman

“I asked so many questions about the weather, my parents bought me a weather station,” he says. “My fondest memory is my dad hanging out the window, setting up the station and measuring wind speed.” A storm destroyed the station, but Norman wasn’t deterred—he was captivated. “I was just amazed that there was something in the world stronger than my dad,” he says.

May/June MIT News cover
This story is part of the May/June 2013 Issue of the MIT News magazine
See the rest of the issue
Subscribe

Norman parlayed his fascination into a three-decade-long career, including 19 years as a television meteorologist in Houston and Atlanta, where he won six local Emmy Awards and four local Associated Press awards.

As chief meteorologist at a CBS affiliate in Atlanta, Norman reported on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, which spawned tornadoes throughout northern Georgia. In the same role in Houston, he covered Hurricane Ike, which was the costliest hurricane in Texas history.

“What meteorologists do and say can have a real impact,” he says. “I’m most proud of the times I’ve been able to provide life-saving information. After Hurricane Ike someone told me, ‘Because of how you explained the storm, I was able to survive it.’”

Norman’s television career began in 1993. While working at NASA in Houston—where he spent eight years in the Space Flight Meteorology Group—he moonlighted as a part-time meteorologist at a station in Beaumont, Texas.

He moved to the Atlanta station in 2000, a break from Texas weather that expanded his reporting horizons. “We joke that Houston has four seasons: July, August, summer, and flooding,” Norman says. “In Georgia, we actually had seasonal weather.” He returned to Houston in 2008 and worked at KHOU-TV until 2012. He now consults on understanding and mitigating weather risk, and he blogs at www.genenormanweather.com.

Norman still maintains close ties to MIT. He is a career advisor and moderated a View from the Top event for the Enterprise Forum of Texas in 2012. “The fundamental training and analytical processes you learn at MIT truly lay the groundwork for what you do later in life,” he says. “That approach has always been something that I can rely upon.”

Norman, who has a master’s degree in meteorology from the University of Maryland, lives outside Houston. He and his wife, Elaine, have four children.

AI and robotics are changing the future of work.  Learn from the humans leading the way at EmTech Next 2019.

Register now
Next in MIT News
Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print + All Access Digital.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.

MIT News = for alumni only.

Are you an MIT alum?
Sign in now to read all MIT alumni news and class notes— or to manage your magazine subscription.

Sign in and read on