Most of us avoid bad weather. The meteorologists at The Weather Channel seek it out, enduring some of nature’s most dangerous storms to keep us safe and informed. For years L.L.Bean has been proud to equip these brave experts with the outerwear and gear they need to stay warm, dry and protected on assignment and in their everyday lives. Recently we were able to sit down with some of The Weather Channel’s top on-air meteorologists to get to know them better. Throughout the season, we’ll be highlighting these amazing and inspiring individuals so you can learn more about what it takes to do what they do.
SAM CHAMPION Sam Champion is a Peabody Award and four-time Emmy Award-winning weather anchor and climate and environmental journalist who recently decided to bring his talents to the No. 1 destination for all things weather, The Weather Channel®. Champion anchors AMHQ, the network’s new flagship morning show. Based at The Weather Channel headquarters in Atlanta, Champion also holds Managing Editor responsibilities at the network. Previously, Champion was the Weather Anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA) and created the weather & climate unit at ABC News. Before joining ABC News in 2006, Champion spent 18 years at WABC-TV in New York, where he was the most watched weatherman in the tri-state area.
Q: What’s your favorite piece of L.L.Bean outerwear?
Sam: From dog sled racing in Alaska to being buried in snow for avalanche drills, I’ve had the chance to do it all in almost 35 years of television, and layers are the rule. I’m totally into the 850 Down Hooded Jacket this year. Long underwear, a trail fleece and waterproof shell and I’m pretty good to go.
What’s the worst weather you’ve experienced?
Sam: Probably the Chicago Blizzard 2011…broadcasting for hours in blinding snow that was piling over the roof of cars (and up to our necks) on Lake Shore Drive was a “face-freezing” brutal experience.
What do you miss most about the weather in your hometown? What don’t you miss?
Sam: My adopted hometown is Miami, Florida, and I try to get there most weekends with my husband. So I try not to miss it at all. A few days on the beach and I don’t mind whatever weather the week will bring.
When you’re not on the clock, what are your favorite outdoor hobbies or sports?
Sam: Anything in or under the warm waters of the Florida coast. I like my water warm and deep blue and my sand sparkling white.
Any other amazing weather stories you’d like to tell L.L.Bean fans?
Sam: I’ve always thought you can’t tell a weather story without getting in the weather. So if it’s flooding, get in the water…show people how deep it is. If the lake-effect snow pile is two stories high…climb it. For the ice-jam flooding in Fargo, others stood on a dry hill and pointed to it. I wanted my audience to experience it…so I got in the water…pounding through the 4-6″ ice….That way I could show you the flood water was chest high and why rescue boats couldn’t break through that ice.