Chief Meteorologist Kevin Lighty:
Dreams do come true, and Kevin is living his right now. Growing up in Veedersburg, IN, just an hour from Champaign, Kevin grew up watching WCIA. He was even a weather watcher for Judy Fraser when he was just a teenager.
As a kid, Kevin shot weather videos with his parents’ camcorder as storms approached and pretended to be a weatherman on TV. There was no doubt Kevin would have his dream of becoming a real meteorologist come true soon.
As Kevin got older, he became a storm spotter for the National Weather Service in Indianapolis and got his first start in broadcasting in Danville, IL at 94.9 K-Rock and D-102 as a radio DJ at the age of 17.
Kevin got his first crack at TV weather broadcasting while attending Vincennes University where he was a weather anchor for the PBS station WVUT. Kevin received his Associate of Arts degree in Radio/TV Broadcasting from Vincennes.
Kevin got his first “real” job on television at the CBS station WTHI Channel 10 in Terre Haute, IN. He spent more than three years there as the weather anchor. While working at WTHI, Kevin also attended Indiana State University, where he received a Bachelor of Science in Physical Geography with a minor in Climatology and emphasis in Meteorology.
His next job was at WKYT in Lexington, Kentucky where he was the morning meteorologist and storm chaser for 2 years, followed by a short stint doing fill-in weather for WRTV in Indianapolis. Kevin then went to Springfield, MO in July of 2007 to become the Chief Meteorologist at KSPR. He was there for 10 years and accomplished many things during his tenure. He covered the Joplin, MO EF-5 tornado, storm chased with the Vortex 2 research team, and received an award for best weathercast in Missouri 7 out of his 10 years and had 2 Emmy nominations. Kevin was also part of the team that won a national Edward R. Murrow award for Best Newscast the night of the Branson Leap Day tornadoes in 2012.
Kevin also holds the seal of approval from both the American Meteorological Society (AMS) and the National Weather Association (NWA).
Storm chasing is one of Kevin’s favorite things to do when he has the chance. He has seen numerous tornadoes while chasing in the Plains over the last decade.
In his spare time, Kevin enjoys playing or watching nearly any sport. He is a HUGE Cubs fan and most recently enjoyed watching game 7 of the World Series in Wrigleyville. Wrigley just so happens to be the name of his adopted 12-year-old beagle. He’s also a fan of the Chicago Bears & Blackhawks, but being from Indiana, he would choose the Indiana Pacers as his favorite basketball team.
Kevin has many unique hobbies including being a DJ at weddings and parties. He also is a certified FAA commercial drone pilot. Kevin has shot many drone weather-related videos that have made it onto national news outlets over the past year. Kevin is also a ham radio operator, call sign WX9KSL.
Kevin loves hearing from the community and other weather enthusiasts so don’t hesitate to drop him a line!
Midday Meteorologist Jack Gerfen:
Jack’s interest in weather and desire to become a meteorologist goes all the way back to fifth grade. On the first day of the weather segment in science class, he learned about tornadoes. Later that evening, Jack had to go into the basement because severe thunderstorms rolled through suburban Detroit. That instantly sparked Jack’s interest in weather that would lead him to KEYC News 12 in Mankato, Minnesota from October 2012 to WCIA 3 in late July of 2015.
Always interested in science, Jack attended Valparaiso University and graduated with a B. S. in Meteorology with minors in Mathematics and Communications alongside friend and future co-worker, Lisa Meadows. While at Valpo, Jack was a member of a variety of groups. He was in two summer storm chases for the Valparaiso University Storm Intercept Team. He took weathercasting from GMA meteorologist Ginger Zee of ABC’s Good Morning America and was a member of Valparaiso University Television. He interned at WDIV in Detroit, Michigan.
Being from Michigan, Jack enjoys being outdoors and on the water. He’s a lifelong swimmer and used to coach various teams in his city as well as for the YMCA and USA Swimming. And having been raised in Motown, he is a big car guy and loves to cruise. Jack is the station’s biggest Star Wars fan! Feel free to get in touch with him about weather or chat about cars!
Weekend Forecaster Amelia Henderson
Amelia Henderson joined the WCIA Weather Team in September of 2019. Henderson is originally from Atlanta, Indiana and is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of South Australia. Amelia’s passion for meteorology stemmed from her interest in the environment as she is also a Padi Scuba Dive Master and has worked as a dive professional in several countries including Australia and the Bahamas.
Amelia started her career at WBOY in Clarksburg, West Virginia in 2017 where she covered news, sports and weather. After a year and a half in West Virginia, Amelia made the move to Champaign, Illinois to pursue her career in meteorology full-time. Throughout her college career Amelia worked as an in-house production assistant and sideline reporter for Orange Power Studios, Oklahoma State University’s in-house sports production department. She also anchored The Poke Report, a student ran national award-winning sports talk show. Throughout her college career Amelia won several national and regional awards from both the National Broadcast Education Association and the National Broadcast Society. Before making the move to her first job in Clarksburg, Amelia was an intern for KOTV in Tulsa, Oklahoma where she learned the fields of both sports and weather.
In Amelia’s free time she enjoys traveling, walking her dog Mako, and flying her drone.