Special Announcement: A SKYWARN and Amateur Radio Tribute to Mish Michaels
Hello to all…
Our WX1BOX Amateur Radio Team was shocked, saddened and devastated to learn that former WBZ-TV, WHDH-TV and current part-time Weather Channel Meteorologist Mish Michaels passed away. Mish was a pioneer in supporting SKYWARN and Amateur Radio and led an effort that accelerated the growth of SKYWARN, highlighted the importance in ground truth spotter reporting during severe weather, accelerated growth in Amateur Radio and trailblazed a path where the efforts of SKYWARN spotters and Amateur Radio SKYWARN spotters became recognized across the entire media community across Southern New England. Beyond these community contributions, she was a personal friend to several on the team who kept in touch with us even after she was in her retirement and even after a couple of our core coordinators moved out of area. She is a tragic loss to the weather and Amateur Radio communities. Further, we lost a personal friend to several of us.
At the Southern New England Weather Conference in 2004, Mish Michaels approached our Amateur Radio team interested in forging a relationship where she could better highlight the work of trained SKYWARN Spotters and Amateur Radio Operators. Within a month of that contact, SKYWARN was mentioned more prominently on air at WBZ-TV with spotter reports of snowfall relayed on air directly to the media. In December 2005, the support included phone and other interviews on live television featuring the important work on ground truth weather spotting. She also presented at Amateur Radio Clubs including the Massasoit and Whitman Amateur Radio Clubs in November 2009 on tornado research. Over the years, the relationship would continue even after she left WBZ-TV in 2009 and would grow across all the various TV media outlets in the Boston area, the Providence, RI area and the Hartford CT area reaching much of Southern New England.
We have added to our WX1BOX Youtube Channel three videos of WBZ-TV that included mentions of SKYWARN and interviews with Mish Michaels on SKYWARN:
WBZ-TV Mention of SKYWARN Spotter Reports During a Winter Storm – 1/6/2005:
WBZ-TV Skywarn Interview 12/9/05 – Tropospheric Fold Coastal Storm:
WBZ-TV Interview Compilation April-July 2006:
In more recent years, Mish Michaels remained active in the weather community despite retirement. On September 6th, 2019, Mish Michaels along with Blue Hill Observatory Executive Director, Charlie Orloff presented at the Northeast HamXposition (a regional Amateur Radio Convention) on the Cape Cod Tornadoes that occurred on July 23rd, 2019. The room was packed and overflowed with participants as she shared the meteorology, the Amateur Radio/SKYWARN support on this rare meteorological event for Cape Cod and the Islands. As recently as January 2022, Mish restarted her involvement in media reporting on the Blizzard of 2022 that affected our Southern New England region on The Weather Channel and once again, as she always did, mentioned the SKYWARN program and all the reports from all of you rekindling the spirit that started the SKYWARN connection to media outlets many years ago.
WBZ-TV had a heartfelt tribute to Mish Michaels that we echo in this tribute. The WBZ-TV Tribute written by Terry Eliasen is listed below:
On a personal note, Mish Michaels elevated and inspired me to lead this program to heights that would not have been attainable without her support. Her pioneering efforts to work with us were above and beyond and what allowed us to connect with many other media outlets and partner public service agencies including personal connections with some of the mainstream media meteorologists in the region. She also played an instrumental role in the recognition of an Outstanding Volunteer Service Award presented to me on Friday November 9th, 2018 at the Blue Hill Observatory fundraiser featuring Jim Cantore and Storm Stories which was a very humbling and powerfully positive experience for me. This wouldn’t have happened without her support but also without the support of the thousands of spotters who have and are continuing to give their time over the many storms we experience in Southern New England and have accepted my leadership in the program. I am a better person, leader and have learned a lot both in public communication and meteorology from her. She will be sorely missed but we will continue to move forward with her passion, high energy and love of weather. I know she wouldn’t want it any other way.
As Terry Eliasen said in his tribute, he wished her “eternal sunny skies” and we do the same. We also wish her fair winds and following seas and our eternal gratitude for all she has done for our program, the meteorology field and her many other philanthropic pursuits and family life. Rest easy, Mish, we will take it from here!
Robert Macedo (KD1CY)
ARES SKYWARN Coordinator
Eastern Massachusetts ARES Section Emergency Coordinator
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