Dan Thomas has been a weather fanatic for as long as he can remember. As a small child, in his hometown of North Andover, Mass., he loved to stare out the window, watching New England's powerful ocean storms. To this day, he still has a cassette recording from when he was 6 years old, on which he said, "It's rainy, snowy, windy ... That's all the news for now. This is Danny Thomas." Needless to say, he's living out his dream.
Dan's passion for weather led him to Pennsylvania State University, where he earned bachelor's and master's degrees in meteorology. While at Penn State, he worked as a part-time, on-air meteorologist for WPSX-TV. He also joined the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps and was commissioned as a lieutenant upon graduation.
After college, Dan began his military career at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Ga. He deployed to the Middle East, where he briefed pilots on weather conditions for their training missions over Iraq's no-fly zone. He completed his military service in the fall of 2000 as a captain, leading a 15-person organization in weather operations at Vance Air Force Base in Enid, Okla.
After his time in the military, Dan began his full-time career in television as the morning meteorologist for KHBS/KHOG-TV in Fort Smith/Fayetteville, Arkansas. For the following two years, he chased and tracked severe thunderstorms all across western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.
From tornado alley, Dan moved to "hurricane central" -- New Orleans -- in early 2003 to work as a broadcast meteorologist for WDSU-TV, the NBC affiliate. While there, he covered more than a half dozen hurricanes and tropical storms that hit the southeastern United States. His coverage of Hurricane Frances in 2004 earned him "First Place for Breaking Weather" from the Louisiana Associated Press.
Most notable was Dan's coverage leading up to and during Hurricane Katrina. Dan warned viewers of the impending devastation during the final hours of preparation and the first hours of impact. He rode out the storm on the 11th floor of the Hilton Hotel in New Orleans. Dan recalls the room began creaking eight hours before landfall. The hotel beds began shaking two hours before landfall, due to the increasing wind. It was at that point that Dan and several coworkers evacuated to the hotel lobby for safety. The following day, as flood waters rose and crime escalated, Dan and his remaining coworkers evacuated to a sister station in Orlando, FL, where they remained for the following two months.
Dan's thrilled to be a part of the WSMV team and live in the beautiful city of Nashville, where the people are so nice and there's so much to do. In his spare time, he loves to lift weights, run, play tennis and work on his far-from-par golf game.
Dan also loves getting out in the community to meet his viewers, so feel free to contact him if you have a class or meeting at which you would like him to speak.
In May 2009, Dan was certified by the American Meteorological Society as a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, which involves passing very rigorous testing and standards.
Dan joins 4WARN Meteorologist Lisa Spencer as a recipient of this certification. WSMV is the only television station in Nashville with two CBMs.