The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Andrew Humphrey

Meteorologist Andrew Humphrey was born in Silver Spring, Maryland. As a child, he loved sports, math and science. His early fascination with weather caused him to earn his B.S.E. in meteorology from the University of Michigan in Ann, Arbor in 1992. He then went on to receive his M.S. degree in meteorology in February 1995 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Under the supervision of Dr. Kerry A. Emanuel, his masters’ thesis entitled “The Behavior of the Total Mass of the Atmosphere” examined a one hundred year behavior period (1890-1990) of the total mass of the atmosphere. He concluded that the total atmospheric mass decreased over this time period.

In 1995, he started his career as a meteorologist at the local NBC affiliate WRC-TV in Washington, D.C. He also worked in Maryland as a research scientist with the Biosphere and Planetary Sciences branches of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s National Center for Environmental Protection. In 1996, he worked for NBC and CNBC Europe covering weather throughout Europe and North Africa. In 2000, he joined local Fox affiliate WUPW-TV in Toledo, Ohio as their chief meteorologist and served as a freelance meteorologist for CNN and CNNI in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2002, he became a meteorologist and reporter for WDIV-TV (NBC) in Detroit.

In addition to his work in meteorology, Humphrey holds numerous awards and distinctions. He received the Community Service Award from the National Association for Black Journalists (NABJ) in 2000. The Detroit City Council awarded him with the 2006 Spirit of Detroit Award for his community service. In 2009, he won an Emmy for weather anchoring from the Michigan Chapter of the National Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. While at WDIV (NBC) in Detroit, he received the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcast Meteorologist distinction. Humphrey also earned certification in Motion Picture Production by the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan.

He was the founder and co-chairs the Digital Journalism Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ); is Past President of NABJ’s Detroit chapter and Board Member of FIRST (Robotics) in Michigan and the Detroit Science Center; and was an active leader and team member of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan’s Alumni Leadership Council, the Charles H. Wright African American History Museum and Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Andrew Humphrey was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on October 25, 2012.

Accession Number

A2012.183

Sex

Male

Interview Date

10/25/2012

Last Name

Humphrey

Maker Category
Occupation
Organizations
Schools

University of Michigan

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Andrew

Birth City, State, Country

Silver Spring

HM ID

HUM04

Favorite Season

All Seasons

Sponsor

National Science Foundation

State

Maryland

Favorite Vacation Destination

National Parks

Favorite Quote

Have a wonderful day. This is your day to make a difference.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Michigan

Birth Date

9/22/1970

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Detroit

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Spaghetti, Cookies (Chocolate Chip), Ice Cream (Chocolate)

Short Description

Meteorologist Andrew Humphrey (1970 - ) is an Emmy-award winning meteorologist and reporter for WDIV-TV (NBC) in Detroit, Michigan.

Employment

WRC TV

NBC

WTTG TV

CNN

WUPW-TC (Fox)

WDIV TV

Main Sponsor
Main Sponsor URL
Favorite Color

Blue, Purple

Timing Pairs
0,0:2193,25:3483,42:3999,47:6966,63:14610,233:16014,261:16794,276:18510,310:19134,319:24250,367:25600,405:25800,410:26650,419:26850,424:27550,442:27750,447:28250,465:28800,480:29200,489:29450,495:29750,502:32100,573:32450,585:34250,631:34700,641:35100,650:35350,656:35600,662:39728,679:41352,708:41642,714:43727,740:44069,745:44696,762:46463,866:46862,874:47318,887:48173,905:48572,917:48857,925:49883,952:50282,960:50909,974:51764,1001:52391,1016:53246,1037:54215,1058:54728,1069:55184,1079:55697,1091:56153,1101:56381,1106:57521,1132:58148,1153:64424,1202:64739,1208:65936,1244:66377,1253:66944,1270:68834,1297:69527,1310:70094,1322:70535,1330:71858,1354:72488,1366:75561,1379:75805,1384:76171,1391:77025,1409:79221,1457:80014,1472:81948,1482:82412,1496:82702,1505:83398,1521:83804,1530:84036,1535:85022,1555:85660,1568:86530,1594:86936,1602:87400,1611:87922,1617:88212,1623:88618,1637:89024,1646:89372,1653:93268,1675:93604,1683:93940,1690:98088,1754:98704,1763:100692,1780:100920,1785:101832,1807:102288,1816:102858,1828:103086,1833:104283,1858:104796,1870:105594,1892:105822,1897:106050,1904:106734,1921:107247,1933:107646,1942:108102,1952:108330,1957:108558,1962:109584,1982:110040,1993:110496,2003:110895,2012:112206,2048:112434,2053:112662,2058:118250,2069:119515,2108:119955,2117:121275,2144:121660,2152:121880,2159:122100,2164:123475,2207:124630,2240:126780,2248$0,0:637,11:7270,99:7760,108:8950,129:10280,165:10840,175:11120,180:12310,211:12940,221:14480,257:17210,315:20820,322:24477,399:24822,405:25443,410:26202,423:26961,434:27858,448:28617,466:28893,471:29376,478:30066,489:31239,511:31998,531:33999,577:34965,599:39385,634:40880,669:41400,679:41790,688:42440,702:42895,708:43350,716:44910,747:45170,755:45625,763:45885,771:46470,781:46795,787:47185,794:47900,811:49655,839:50110,852:50565,864:51020,872:51995,880:54670,897:55190,908:56230,937:56685,945:58050,971:58440,980:59285,1000:59545,1005:59935,1012:62274,1025:65638,1116:66334,1131:67146,1156:67436,1162:68712,1194:69176,1203:69698,1219:70104,1228:70510,1237:71148,1251:73520,1260:73770,1266:74220,1277:74470,1283:74820,1291:75220,1300:75770,1316:76520,1331:76720,1339:77020,1347:77820,1367:79170,1399:80270,1420:80570,1444:81870,1482:82220,1491:82770,1505:83220,1517:83820,1533:84020,1538:84320,1546:84620,1554:85320,1568:85670,1577:90260,1597:90524,1602:91184,1619:91844,1635:92372,1644:93164,1658:94616,1696:95210,1706:95606,1713:98470,1748:98950,1757:100270,1793:100810,1803:101590,1817:102370,1827:102670,1833:103510,1849:103990,1858:104230,1863:105130,1886:106210,1908:106450,1913:107170,1929:107530,1936:107950,1945:110170,1996:110770,2010:111190,2018:112690,2061:113110,2070:113830,2083:114070,2088:114370,2094:115150,2110:115630,2121:116050,2130:116590,2141:122464,2173:125160,2222:125484,2229:125754,2236:126456,2252:126942,2262:129048,2314:129264,2319:130668,2352:131262,2367:131694,2377:134988,2475:135474,2485:135744,2491:143376,2592:146228,2656:147902,2690:148398,2699:149390,2721:149948,2731:150444,2740:151002,2751:151436,2760:152552,2784:155218,2855:155466,2860:156768,2894:157698,2917:157946,2922:158504,2932:159558,2956:159868,2962:160736,2976:161418,2990:162968,3020:163464,3029:163960,3039:171730,3064:172054,3069:172945,3081:173269,3086:174322,3097:174889,3106:175213,3112:175537,3127:175861,3132:176428,3141:177157,3152:178615,3184:179263,3193:179587,3198:180883,3220:181612,3231:183232,3261:183556,3266:184123,3274:186391,3320:186715,3325:190235,3352:190650,3358:191065,3364:191646,3374:192227,3383:193057,3394:194800,3415:195132,3420:197290,3447:198286,3462:200112,3497:201191,3518:201606,3524:206788,3569:207104,3574:208368,3596:209316,3616:210027,3629:210343,3634:217260,3747:218070,3758:219528,3782:220662,3800:220986,3805:225282,3846:225872,3859:226167,3866:226403,3872:227052,3887:227288,3892:228704,3933:230946,3987:231536,4000:231831,4006:232185,4014:232421,4019:232834,4029:233188,4037:233601,4046:233896,4052:235017,4084:235312,4090:235607,4097:241260,4150:242172,4173:242571,4181:242913,4188:243711,4205:246048,4274:246333,4280:246960,4296:247644,4310:248271,4322:248556,4328:249069,4342:249297,4347:255434,4418:256679,4432:261244,4517:261991,4528:262489,4535:263236,4544:263734,4552:264564,4567:268700,4605
DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Andrew Humphrey's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Andrew Humphrey lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Andrew Humphrey describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his mother's life in Baltimore, Maryland

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Andrew Humphrey describes his father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his father growing up in North Carolina

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his parents and about dance

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Andrew Humphrey talks about being raised in an interracial family

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his parents' personalities and who he takes after

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his earliest childhood memories

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Andrew Humphrey describes the sights and sounds and smells of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Andrew Humphrey talks about life in the Maryland and Washington, District of Columbia region

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his love of football

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Andrew Humphrey talks about growing up as an only child

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his early school days

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his childhood interest in science, math and meteorology

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Andrew Humphrey talks about what influenced him during his teenage years

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Andrew Humphrey remembers the increasing presence of African Americans in the media during his formative years

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Andrew Humphrey describes his decision to become a meteorologist

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Andrew Humphrey describes the social and political climate of the 1980s

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Andrew Humphrey talks about Doug Williams, the first African American quarterback to win the Super Bowl

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his early interest in meteorology

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Andrew Humphrey talks about studying at the University of Michigan

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Andrew Humphrey talks about the anti-affirmative action legislation, Proposition Two

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Andrew Humphrey talks about the Multicultural Engineering Program Office at the University of Michigan

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his college experience and remembers the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Andrew Humphrey talks about his decision to go to Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Andrew Humphrey discusses his thesis, 'The Behavior of Total Mass of the Atmosphere'

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Andrew Humphrey describes his experience with students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Andrew Humphrey describes his introduction to broadcast meteorology

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Andrew Humphrey describes a typical day as a television meteorologist

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Andrew Humphrey talks about weather patterns and global warming

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Andrew Humphrey discusses the economic and political lessons of Hurricane Katrina

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

2$6

DATitle
Andrew Humphrey describes his decision to become a meteorologist
Andrew Humphrey describes a typical day as a television meteorologist
Transcript
Okay, okay. Now did--so when you were in high school, did you have a vocation in mind?$$A vocation?$$Right.$$What do you mean?$$I mean what did you aspire to be when you finished college, you know.$$My first love was football, so I wanted to be a football--my first love was football, so I wanted to be a pro football player. And I didn't think about anything else really until, really until the end of high school. Just before the end of high school when I got beat up on the football field enough times and got hit in the head a lot and got pushed backward instead of pushing the other guy backward. So that's when I started seriously thinking about other things. And the thing that got my mind going about that was simply had to do with really it was in preparation for the PSAT [Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test] and the SATs [Scholastic Aptitude Test] because they had the question on there what do you want to major in and there was no, nothing there for pro football, so that's when I really started thinking huh, let me look at this list of majors and simply go down it and check off what interests me and whatever doesn't interest me, just don't check it. And meteorology was one of those things that I checked. Now I loved math and science. I knew that, so also check marked mathematics, some of the science disciplines, especially physics and engineering, some social sciences, not too much in the way of history but some things like psychology and sociology because I had heard of them but didn't know too much about them so I was intrigued at least. But that's when I started thinking about other things that I could be once I became an adult. And then it wasn't really until--and that's, that's generally been my mode when it comes to making different life decisions. Basically thinking broadly and then focusing in on one or at least a few things and then going with that. Because once you focus in on that one thing you open that door, and that just opens up a whole new world of options for you that you can narrow down once again. So that's essentially--that's sort of the thinking process or decision making process that I went through when it came to okay, figuring out what it is I wanted to do when I grew up.$Okay. Now somewhere in the interim you attended the Motion Picture Institute of Michigan, right?$$That was actually afterwards, when I was already--that was when I first got back here to Detroit [Michigan] and southeast Michigan.$$Okay, all right so we'll freeze that one.$$Sure.$$And we'll go--but let me ask you this. That summer when you interned with Bob Ryan, you got a chance to see for the first time what, what a television meteorologist does.$$Right.$$So what does a television meteorologist do? We know what we see on television, but what do you--what, what's the preparation and what, what is your day like?$$Okay. The preparation is--well for me, I can speak for myself. What I do now being weekday morning and noon meteorologist here at Channel Four in Detroit. Every single morning I get up between two and 2:30 in the morning, get here at the station between three and 3:30. When I get here, I'm looking at all the weather information in my viewing area, at least in my viewing area that's happened the previous twenty-four hours before I got there. So I can see okay, what type of weather is occurring now, what type of weather did occur immediately, and then I look at computer models to get a sense of what may happen in the future. After looking at these various computer models, I get a sense of okay, this is what my weather forecast is going to be. So I write down a description of okay, what type of weather is going on now, what type of weather is going to happen in the future, and that gives me a good base of what to actually talk about on television. At the same time, if there's anything that's going on nationally or internationally like when we get into hurricane season like now, looking if there are any tropical storms or if there are any tropical storms or hurricanes or other, or other sort of tornado activity that might be headed in our direction. I look at that also and see if that's going to affect us. Or even if it's not going to affect us directly, our viewing audience no matter where it is, might have friends, relatives or some other interest in the area where that bad weather is happening.$$Okay. For instance today we've got Hurricane Sandy [2012] I think.$$That's right, today we've got Hurricane Sandy, which has already moved over Jamaica, moving over eastern Cuba and headed over the Atlantic. But there's a question of where it will go. It will probably stay along the Carolina coastline, but everyone's concerned about whether it will turn to the west and hit either New York or New England. And regardless of where it goes, it still has an indirect weather, indirect--regardless of where Sandy goes, it still has an indirect impact on Detroit and southeast Michigan because it causes a virtual log jamb in the skies. I mean it's going to get colder and it's going to get cloudier over Michigan, over southeast Michigan this weekend. Well if that hurricane stays off the coast, it might actually jamb things up and keep us cold or chilly for an extended period of time.$$Okay. So, so how much preparation goes into a--in terms of time, goes into a--$$Well when the weather is good, generally good, it can be anywhere from fifteen to forty-five minutes is good. I get into, I get into work between three and 3:30. The first time I go on TV is just after 4:00 a.m. during the Early Today Show, and then our local news starts at 4:30. And even before then at 4:26 I do a little weather update. So normally I have all my stuff, I have all my ducks lined up by 4:15, 4:20. So yeah generally a good fifteen to forty-five minutes I can get a good weather cast together.$$Okay and you do how many, how many broadcasts a day?$$Boy, last count when I last counted, this is on television because now we have the Internet, so I do that also. When I last counted the number of weather hits that I have, it's got to be over twenty. It's got to be somewhere in the neighborhood of twenty-five or thirty because it's at least two or three times a half hour, and then we have the Today Show and there are at least two times when I break in there, and then there's an update at 10:30, sometimes there can be another update depending on the season, and then we have the noon show and there are at least two or three updates, two or three weather appearances there also. So all that adds up to at least twenty-five or thirty.$$Okay, all right. And, and therefore the duration of a, of a segment is--$$It can be a short--some of them can be as short as fifteen or twenty seconds, some of them can be as long as two and a half, three minutes.