John Wendel joined the NBC Charlotte First Warn Storm Team back in December 2000. John earned his Bachelor's of Science degree in meteorology and speech communications minor from Northern Illinois University and been working in the weather-media business since 1981.
WSAU-TV in Wausau, Wis. was John's first stop out of college with his career taking him to Eau Claire Wis., Kalamazoo, Mich., Winston-Salem, N.C. and now Charlotte.
John is also an educator and author. During the spring and fall semesters, you can find John up early teaching an Earth Science class, as well as a Weather and Broadcasting class at UNC Charlotte. Another accomplishment was writing a book on weather folklore titled "Nature's Way, An Understanding of Weather Lore and Proverbs." The book explains the truth and falsities of well known weather lore. Can looking at the bubbles in your morning cup of coffee forecast the weather? You can find the answer in his book.
Weather and sports always played a part of John's childhood while growing up in the Chicago area. In second grade, he would draw maps of the United State adding clouds, fronts and other weather elements. John would then pretend he was a TV weather guy and explain the forecast to anyone who would listen.
John has experienced several memorable weather events while living in the Carolinas. In 1996, John reported from the eye of Hurricane Bertha as winds whipped around at 100 mph. He has also reported from the top of Sugar Mountain with snow in the air, winds at 60 mph and wind chill reading close to 30 degrees below zero. John says reporting in the extreme weather events is one of the best and most interesting parts of the job.
John has been married to his wife Cathy for 32 years and they have two children. John's favorite activities include fishing, hiking and just spending time with his family.
Something you may not know about John is that in 1981 he caught a 19 pound 13 ounce rainbow trout, which was a World Record at the time.