Every year since 2011, meteorologist Jen Carfagno has covered Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney for The Weather Channel, and she has been on hand for the inductions of two of her colleagues into the Punxsutawney Weather Discovery Center’s Meteorologist Hall of Fame. This year, it’s Carfagno’s turn as she becomes the Hall of Fame’s 16th honoree.
A Pennsylvania native and a graduate of Pennsylvania State University, Carfagno says she had plans to become a pilot but was well known in her family for her obsession with weather. “I was curious about major weather events we had in Pennsylvania and constantly tracked the weather. When I learned that mathematics, which I really liked, was a big part of meteorology, that sealed the deal.”
Carfagno’s path to The Weather Channel almost seemed preordained. As a project for her high school senior computer design class, she created a “Local on the 8s”-style slideshow using weather data she obtained online. Before completing her degree from Penn State, she interned at The Weather Channel, and not long after graduation, she joined the company as a full-time forecaster. Since then, Carfagno has gained experience in several key Weather Channel positions. Today, Carfagno co-hosts the station’s AMHQ show on weekdays from 5-9 a.m. ET.
Sharing information about the weather is a passion for Carfagno, whether it’s in person with groups of students or in front of the camera for millions of viewers. Hurricane coverage stands out as some of the most important meteorological work she’s done. “I was in the studio during Hurricane Katrina,” she says. “It was terrifying to forecast and even worse to watch it all unfold. But I was glad I was able to help gather data and communicate the risks.”
The Weather Discovery Center’s board of directors is especially excited to induct Carfagno into the prestigious Hall of Fame because she’s become a good friend of the organization over her years of covering Groundhog Day. “Not only does Jen belong in the Hall of Fame because of her impressive professional credentials,” says board chairman Jim Cassidy, “but also because she’s been supportive of Punxsutawney and the Weather Discovery Center through her coverage of Groundhog Day and her willingness to embrace the fun of the event.”
On Friday, February 1, Carfagno will become the fourth meteorologist from The Weather Channel to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Inducted before her were Stephanie Abrams, Dr. Greg Forbes, and Jim Cantore. Abrams and Cantore are Carfagno’s co-hosts on The Weather Channel’s AMHQ.
The Meteorologist Hall of Fame induction ceremony is open to the public with $7 admission to the Weather Discovery Center. It will begin at 11:30 a.m. ET with a small reception of punch and groundhog cookies, during which the public can meet Carfagno and fellow weather forecaster, Punxsutawney Phil. To read more about this event, and other activities scheduled at the Weather Discovery Center during the Groundhog Day celebration, please visit WeatherDiscovery.org.
For more information on Groundhog Day, nearby places to stay, and other interesting things to do in the Pennsylvania Great Outdoors region during your visit, go to VisitPAGO.com or call (814) 849-5197.