Launch weather officer triples her 15 minutes of fame

  • Published
  • By Chrissy Cuttita
  • 45th Space Wing Public Affairs
On Dec. 17, 2015, the Weather Channel hosted Kathy Winters, a launch weather officer with the 45th Weather Squadron at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida,  for a Weather Geeks episode that aired Jan. 10.

"They were very excited about rocket launches," Winters said. "I think the Weather Geeks episode displayed very positive aspects of what the 45th Space Wing does here at the Cape."

The live studio opportunity wasn't Winters first time under the channel's spotlight.  In 2013, She went in front of their cameras and talked about how her team forecasts for launches during the station's visit to NASA's Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Before that, Winters said the Weather Channel also observed her team during an exercise countdown for the Space Shuttle around the time NASA was returning to flight following the tragic loss of Shuttle Columbia in 2005. 

During her recent opportunity to be famous, Winters traveled to Atlanta to participate in the 30-minute filming of the show. She sat across from Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a meteorologist for The Weather Channel, and the two discussed the unique ways their professional expertise is applied to the mission of the 45th SW.

"He was fascinated with the way weather can affect all of the pre-launch activities leading up to lift off," said Winters, who has 16 years of experience forecasting weather for the Air Force.

Because the show is tailored to an audience with knowledge of meteorology, she said she was in her comfort zone discussing how CCAFS is a great place to launch from so a rocket can to get into the geosynchronous window which is necessary for the space vehicle. Additionally, Winters said Marshall had a presence and tone that made her feel she was in a friendly conversation.

The show also featured photos and video from United Launch Alliance launches on CCAFS and named one of Winter's co-workers, Tech. Sgt. Matthew Mong, as the show's  "Geek of the Week."

The episode will be posted online in the future at