[heading] by JENNIFER FRAKES | photos by Soul of Photography [/heading]

To Chad Crilley, the question “How’s the weather?” is more than just a casual inquiry. “When I was 4 years old, I was watching a television series called ‘Storm Stories’ on The Weather Channel. My eyes were instantly glued to the TV screen. I became fascinated by the weather from that point on,” said Chad – an 8th grader at Diegueño Middle School.

Since his 6th grade year, Chad has reported the weather to fellow classmates over the school’s P.A. system. In May 2011, he had the opportunity to reach a much wider audience while he was visiting KOAM, a television station in Joplin, Missouri.

“I arrived in Joplin just hours before a tornado hit. I stayed calm the entire time and covered the story. I was a correspondent on the scene for San Diego’s Fox 5 News and had multiple live shots and a phone interview,” declared Chad, who has been recognized for his ability to break down complex weather events into simple terms that everyone can understand.

Chad enjoys his science classes at Diegueño and feels lucky to have a great support system at the school. “The staff and teachers are amazing at my school. They care about the students and there is always an opportunity to learn something new and exciting,” related Chad.

It may surprise those who have seen and heard Chad report the weather, that he is naturally shy. “I feel more comfortable talking in front of 5,000 people than I do in front of one person. I am a little shy when meeting someone new,” revealed Chad.[pullquote_left]“I feel more comfortable talking in front of 5,000 people than I do in front of one person.  I am a little shy when meeting someone new,” revealed Chad. [/pullquote_left]

According to Chad, Encinitas is the perfect location not only for fostering his passion for meteorology, but also for swimming, surfing and enjoying the sun. “The beach is an amazing place to go during the summer. I got involved in surfing because of the role weather plays in the sport,” explained Chad.

Chad’s inspiration is Doug Heady, Chad’s close friend and the chief meteorologist at KOAM News in Joplin, Missouri. “I would like to become an on-air meteorologist for a major television station or The Weather Channel someday,” said Chad.

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Full name:  Chad Crilley
Age:  14
School:  Diegueño Middle School
Grade:  8
Parents:  Christy and Ron Crilley
Siblings:  Spencer, age 3

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