Jacob Dickey

Jacob Dickey is a native of Gibson City, Illinois and grew up watching WCIA 3 News all his life.  He was a Weather Watcher for Judy Fraiser, a Kidscaster for Robert Reese, and an Intern for Derick Fabert.  Now, he gets to forecast and cover the weather for the communities he grew up caring about and loving. 

Jacob graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences education with a secondary teaching license in May of 2015.  Jacob then finished his master’s degree in professional meteorology with an emphasis in Broadcast from Mississippi State University (MSU) in 2020.  At MSU, Jacob’s research focused on the public’s knowledge and perceptions of tornadoes with the goal of identifying more at-risk population groups and developing strategies to reach the public before and during severe weather. 

Jacob lives in Champaign-Urbana with his wife, Amy.  They love traveling together across the country and around the world.  They are also restaurant connoisseurs, loving to find some of the best local spots to eat in the area.  The two also enjoy reading, going for walks, watching The Office and The Great British Baking show and more together.  Jacob also teaches a weather class at Parkland College.  He has volunteered as an emcee for the Champaign County Farm Bureau Foundation and  both the Champaign and the Urbana Park Districts.  He regularly visits local schools in the area to share his passion for weather.

Before arriving home to WCIA 3 News, Jacob was a weekend and field meteorologist for WCBI-tv in Columbus, Mississippi for three years until February 2020.  He then became the acting Chief Meteorologist for KSWO 7 News in Southwest Oklahoma before coming home to Central Illinois.  While at WCBI, Jacob was active in growing the station’s presence online and on social media, focusing on severe weather awareness and preparation.  He also chased storms in the field for the station during some of Mississippi’s biggest tornado outbreaks.  Jacob has witnessed many hurricanes and tropical storms, the most notable being Category 5 Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle, Hurricane Matthew in Daytona Beach, Florida and Hurricane Florence in Wilmington, North Carolina.  In the last 15 years, Jacob has seen many tornadoes and severe storms all across the United States.  Jacob also has interned with several TV weather professionals including Chief Meteorologist Damon Lane at KOCO-tv in Oklahoma City, Chief Meteorologist James Spann at ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, AL, and with Chief Meteorologist Derick Fabert and Meteorologist Jack Gerfen at WCIA 3 News in Champaign, IL. 

You can see some of Jacob’s work on Ag in the Classroom every Monday morning at 6a and 9a.  He also hosts On The Road with Jacob, a segment that features local restaurants in the area and also Cooking Up A Storm, where he heads to the ciLiving kitchen to share recipes that he enjoys.  You can also catch Jacob reporting about agriculture and other human-interest stories from time to time.  

If you know a restaurant Jacob should try, want to share a cool weather photo or anything else, you can connect with Jacob via email at jdickey@wcia.com.  Connect with Jacob and introduce yourself on social media, including on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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