University of Delaware
Office of Public Relations
The Messenger
Vol. 6, No. 1/1996
Forecaster prefers his weather fickle

     Rob Guariano's job depends on the weather-the worse the
better. For the weekend weather forecaster at Fox Television-
Channel 29 in Philadelphia, there's nothing more tedious than a
string of sunny days.
     "Lots of sunny days in a row are a real challenge. How are
you going to present that as news to viewers every night?," he
asks. On this particular sunny October day (the fourth in a row),
Guariano, Delaware '87, is contemplating a computer image of a
deck of cards with suns on them.
     "I think I'll use that tonight and say something about the
great hand Mother Nature has dealt us," he says.
     Guariano is a self-described weather nut. He was the kid who
hung out for fun at the weather center at the New Castle County
(Del.) Airport.
     "The night before a big snowstorm, I'd be so wound up, I'd
race through the house, first looking out the front windows to
see the street conditions and then running to the back windows to
check out the backyard. My mom would always tell me to slow down.
'Nothing's changed in the last two minutes,' she would say."
     Guariano's weather addiction followed him to the University,
where he majored in geography. President of Phi Kappa Tau
fraternity and the Interfraternity Council, he gave daily weather
postings to his fraternity brothers and took a lot of heat when
he got one wrong. One night in 1983, when a big snowstorm was
forecast, he recalls, "Everyone wanted to know if I thought they
would have class the next day."
     After a stint in sales, Guariano took his first weather-
related job with Metro Weather, a forecasting service on Long
Island, N.Y. From there, he went to work at WCBS in New York City
as a behind-the-scenes forecaster, preparing maps and graphics.
     During Operation Desert Storm, he was pulled over to CBS'
news side, working behind the scenes with Dan Rather, forecasting
winds in the Middle East and their possible impact on chemical
     Guariano's kept a weather journal since he was l0 years old,
so it's not surprising that he remembers the inches of snow that
fell during his next job as a weatherperson for WSTM/NBC-TV in
     "We had one storm in 1993 that dumped 43 inches of snow in
the area. In the four years I was there, we had 604 inches of
     But, nothing quite prepared him for the first evening on his
next job, at a larger NBC affiliate in Indianapolis.
     "We had a tornado the first night I was on the job. The
weather was so bad we lost our feed to Saturday Night Live and I
had to ad lib for 20 minutes. I ended up being on the air until 4
a.m. I wasn't all that familiar with the area yet, and I didn't
know all of the names of the cities and towns. The next day, the
local newspaper ran a short article about my ordeal that
'welcomed' me to the city."
     Forecasting on location is one of the things Guariano likes
most about his work. Being out in the middle of Hurricane Opal
wasn't as dangerous as it looked, he says, even if the roof was
nearly ripped off the motel where they were staying.
     Over the years, Guariano also has forecast local weather
from Disney World (10 times) to help promote new
attractions-speaking from different countries at Epcot Center and
from the Tower of Terror and a Flintstones' car.
     He once forecast live from a state fair where a llama
started to nibble at his script, and legend has it that he's
given weather reports while zooming down a waterslide and
sledding down a snow-packed hill.
     At Fox, Guariano is on the air Fridays and Saturdays, fills
in 13 weeks a year for other meteorologists at the station and
works as a roving reporter in bad weather.
     In his spare time, he has authored Forecasting for the
'90s-a 200-page correspondence course; has invented a children's
weather game, which he hopes will be out next year; and works for
Precision Weather Forecasting, a service for those interested in
skiing in the Poconos.
     Being a weather forecaster can be tough, Guariano says,
though he never loses heart.
     "You meet people who open a conversation with, 'Oh, you guys
are never right, anyway' and you're defending yourself, right off
the bat," he says. "But, we're much better than we were l0 years
ago, and the beauty of the job is that every day, every storm is
different. You always get another chance."
                                                  -Beth Thomas