Winner of ITPA Distinguished Alumni Award, October 2001
Meteorologist Craig Allen is the most authoritative weather source in the New York tri-state area. Heading WCBS 880’s weather team and CBS 2’s weekend team, Allen’s reports are accurate and authoritative, his manner warm & friendly.
Craig earned his meteorology degree from Stony Brook University in May of 1979 and became chief meteorologist for WCBS 880 the following Spring. The last 20 years have allowed Craig to form a special bond with WCBS listeners. Hundreds of letters to Newsradio 88 over the years confirm that listeners trust the accuracy of his weather reports.
At age 12, Craig Allen lugged a chalkboard to the kitchen table each night and pretended to be a TV weatherman, delivering a forecast to his family while they ate dinner. Today, audiences hear him deliver TV and radio reports locally and nationally, every weekday morning and weekends when the weather is severe and the need to have the best meteorologist in New York City arises.
It is the perfect occupation for someone who “loves to watch the forces of nature”, so much so that he sometimes leaps into his car “to chase thunderstorms all over Long Island, especially down by the beaches.” What the audience doesn’t know is how frightened he was of thunderstorms as a child. When he was 11, his grandparents gave him some weather instruments and “the fear turned to fascination. Now, I try to share that fascination & enthusiasm with my radio & TV audience.”
Craig’s day is a long one, up by 2:45 and in the weather center no later than 4 AM. His first radio broadcast is at 5:08 AM and on many days the last live forecast is at 6:08 PM. “I go home, eat, play with my son, then it’s off to sleep and next thing I know, the alarm is ringing for another day to begin.”
Unlike many media weather people who are not meteorologists, Craig prepares his own forecasts. He scans the tremendous (sometime overwhelming) amount of atmospheric data and ponders all the possibilities before typing out a forecast which so many people will rely upon… “but remember, there are too many variables surrounding us in this bubble of an atmosphere we call home. The atmosphere follows certain laws and never breaks away from them. We do not know all those laws neither do the computers. I don’t believe forecasting will ever be a perfected science.. but I damn well try my best!”
Despite Craig’s serious outlook, he finds his work to be enthralling. “I love my job. I try to convey my interest in weather to the audience. If there is severe weather. I’ll try not be overly grim but I’ll sure get the sense of urgency across to the listener! And if it is a nice day. I’ll try to make them ‘feel’ the weather; to bring it inside since so many people are indoors looking out the window during their workday”.
Here are some of Craig’s accomplishments over the years:
Meteorologist for WCBS880 since 1980
Weekend weather anchor for CBS 2 since 1990
Earth & Atmospheric Sciences degree, Stony Brook University, 1979
Member of American Meteorological Society,
Radio Seal of Approval since 1985
TV Seal of Approval since 1991
Member of Long Island Weather Observers & North Jersey Weather Observers
Member of New York Press Club
What does Craig do in his free time:
“I cherish it by: Sitting outdoors, watching the weather with my son, spending time at the beach, traveling by train and doing all gardening and landscaping around my home”.