Every evening at the KRBC television station in Abilene, producers will count down the last few seconds before Chief Meteorologist/Anchor Randy Turner and his co-anchor Dayne Marae go live before thousands of viewers throughout west central Texas.
With around 15 years of experience at the NBC-affiliate, Turner is used to being on live television to provide news and the upcoming weather forecast to his audience.
But Thursday’s trip to the Brownwood Public Library for the Coleman native was a nuance compared to his daily round of bright studio lights and cameras dancing around the set.
Turner served as a guest speaker to Brown County kids during the Brownwood Public Library’s summer reading program. He used a series of slides on a mounted flat screen to describe the basics of meteorology, how to read a weather map and issue some safety tips if severe weather strikes.
Before his presentation, Turner used his iPhone to shoot video to 60 or so seated kids and parents, who in unison cheerfully yelled “hi!” after informing them he would play it during today’s 5, 6 or 10 p.m. telecast.
Functions of a Doppler radar and a thermometer and describing various types of clouds and tornadoes served as the bulk of his half-hour presentation, as well as a brief discussion on ways to protect yourself if a tornado is in the area. Turner said he recommends staying away from windows, wear a helmet and, if you live in a multi-story home, be on the lowest floor and in the center of the house.
“Weather safety, what storm clouds look like on the radar and know when they’re looking out there window that a thunderstorm may be coming,” Turner said on what his message was to the group of kids.
Compared to speaking into cameras back at the station, Turner said it was “a little bit” different this time around with his face-to-face audience being just a mere few feet away in a medium-sized room.
“Kids ask the greatest questions. Sometimes it’s like, ‘Gosh, I hope I can answer them,’” he said with a laugh.
Local community garden also guest speaker
While Turner was giving his presentation, garden coordinator Daniel Graham of the Brownwood Area Community Garden read a book to about the same number of youth in the library’s main area
The book Graham read, “Earth Mother,” was about insects and other animals, and he said his mission was to “further educate [the youth] about bugs.”