Featured Meteorologist Derek Van Dam

Meet Derek Van Dam, a CNN Meteorologist who loves covering extreme weather events, from Hurricane Harvey to blizzards, and dreams of hosting a travel show.

Featured Meteorologist Derek Van Dam
Meteorologist Derek Van Dam

Derek Van Dam is a Meteorologist for CNN based at the network’s headquarters in Atlanta. He reports from natural disasters around the world and presents weather and science bulletins on weekdays for CNN's flagship morning show, CNN This Morning. Derek is a “Certified Broadcast Meteorologist” by the American Meteorological Society (AMS), a designation which recognizes excellence in his field. You can read Derek's full bio here.

Check out Derek on Twitter, Facebook or over on Instagram

What was your most memorable weather event?

Covering Hurricane Harvey (August 2017) was a surreal experience for me. At one point, we were riding along with constables on a rescue boat late at night, traversing flooded roads in an affluent Houston neighborhood. The water was so high, we were floating past fully submerged SUV’s still parked along the street. We had an officer standing on the bow of the boat, assisting the boat driver with hand gestures to avoid hidden obstacles that were lurking under the flood waters. We used my cell phone’s GPS system to navigate the unrecognizable roads that were completely flooded over. We were tasked with going to homes that requested rescue services. However, 911 services were down so we started to go to households that had requested rescues on social media.

What is your favourite and least favourite type of weather?

Blizzards are my favorite type of weather to cover. I absolutely love forecasting BIG snowfall events and better yet…I love being in it! My least favorite is heat waves. They are so dangerous but they can last for weeks and that tends to dominate coverage during that period. It’s even worse if you’re in the field covering heat. Talk about being uncomfortable!

What would you most like to be if you weren't a meteorologist?

My dream job would be to host my own travel show (I’m channeling my inner Anthony Bourdain.)

From a purely meteorological point of view, where would you most like to live?

If I could live anywhere that provides the best of all weather worlds, I would select Steamboat Springs, Colorado because of its epic snow during the winters, beautiful sunshine in the summer and falls, and the proximity to the Plains for spring tornado chasing!

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

I used to live in Cape Town, South Africa, where I helped launch South Africa’s first 24-hour news and weather channel. It was an incredible experience that helped develop international weather experience. Most importantly, I met my wife there and now we enjoy two beautiful children in our hometown of Atlanta, Georgia.

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