In honor of National Weatherperson's Day on Feb. 5, we're shining a spotlight on people who have made a career out of predicting, analyzing, reporting on, and even chasing the weather.
Meet Crystal Egger – although you may already know her from her many years as a broadcast meteorologist with The Weather Channel and KNBC in Los Angeles. In 2017, Crystal founded her own company, Monarch Weather, which helps business prepare for weather and climate changes around the world. Crystal took some time to answer a few of our questions about how she got started and what she's up to now!
What made you want to pursue a career in meteorology?
Well, growing up in Southern California, I can’t say I had a wild or unforgettable weather event that left a lasting mark on me. However, I absolutely loved math and science as a kid. On a whim, I enrolled in a college TV/radio course and explored “doing the weather” for our small on-campus newscast. I was fascinated by the idea of forecasting and putting the pieces of the weather puzzle together. It presented a new challenge every day. I also knew that weather was a universal topic and a perfect conversation starter, so I continued to gravitate towards “the weather wall” even more. I decided to enroll in Meteorology 101 and see if it was the right fit for me. The rest is history!
How did you decide to start your own weather company – and how has the experience been?
After spending 15 years working at various TV stations around the country as a broadcast meteorologist, I decided to take a break from the “news grind” and 2 a.m. wake-up calls. I was craving a lifestyle change for my family. Within a couple months I was given the opportunity to help a Fortune 500 technology company as a weather advisor/consultant. That job opened a whole new door in the meteorology world that I hadn’t yet considered. My good friend, Kathryn Prociv, is highly regarded in the weather community (she’s also a CCM holder) and the two of us decided to launch our own company, Monarch Weather Consulting. It’s been amazing and challenging – everything you’d expect in the entrepreneur world. Yet we are learning and growing every day. We have seen the impact of weather on people and capital first-hand and as we tread into unknown climate territory, it’s exciting to know that we can help our clients stay ahead of the game.
What’s the craziest weather story you’ve reported on?
Definitely the Windsor, Colorado tornado back in 2008. I was new to Good Day Colorado – the Fox morning show – when the powerful tornado struck. It was a monster, mile-wide tornado that carved a path of destruction nearly 40 miles in length. On the enhanced Fujita Scale there were pockets of EF3 damage. It was unusual because typically tornadoes occur in the later afternoon/early evening in Colorado, yet this one struck before noon. It also traveled in a northwesterly direction and most (but not all) tornadoes travel from SW to NE. This was the first time I realized I had an extremely important job to help save lives and property!
Favorite climate or type of weather?
While I miss enjoying summertime in the Rocky Mountains and covering epic snowstorms, my favorite climate “to live in” would have to be the pleasant year-round weather here in San Diego. The average temperature is between 55 to 75 degrees, minimum temperature above 45 degrees. You can’t beat it!
What's an interesting weather fact or thing most people don’t know or understand about weather?
While working at The Weather Channel we often covered large dust storms, also known as Haboobs. They can occur anywhere in the U.S. but are most common in the desert Southwest. Essentially, the strong outflow winds of a thunderstorm can create a sudden, massive cloud of dust, swallowing up cities and drastically reducing visibility. Haboobs can be miles long and several thousand feet high. While I’d never want to be caught in one, it has always fascinated me to watch them develop.
Finally… which Weatherman would you choose to carry?
As a mom of two young kids I’d go with the larger golf style umbrella to make sure we’re all covered and staying dry. I personally love the Folds of Honor design because my purchase would help provide scholarships to families of America’s fallen and disabled service members. That is awesome!