Updated: December 29, 2020 07:50 AM
Created: December 28, 2020 11:40 AM
Longtime KSTP-TV Chief Meteorologist Dave Dahl is retiring this week. We're saying goodbye to a good friend who has served the people of Minnesota for more than 43 years.
Believe it or not, for someone who has spent as much time in front of a camera as he has, Dave never wanted to be on TV. But he did have a great interest in the weather as a boy. It all started with a big storm he remembers vividly.
"It was a huge tornado outbreak," he said. "It was the largest one that's ever happened here in the Twin Cities proper. There were about six tornadoes that came through the metro [on] May 6, 1965. I was in a house that didn't have a basement. So I had four brothers and sisters and we all just kind of huddled up in the center of our home. It lasted for what seemed like forever for me."
Dave studied meteorology at Florida State University and was hired by KSTP when he was only 23 years old. He worked mostly behind the scenes as a forecaster. He got his big break in 1979 when an on-air meteorologist got sick.
"And they said 'Dave do you own a suit? We need you to be on TV.' And I said 'I don't even own a suit,'" he said.
And the rest is TV history. 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS Meteorologist Jonathan Yuhas and reporter Kevin Doran crunched the numbers, and they estimate, at a minimum, Dave has done around 42,000 weather forecasts on TV. And the number is more than 60,000 when you count his radio forecasts.
"Dave's a legend in this business," Yuhas said. "He's been doing this for a long time. But not only that, is people all over the country know who he is and they really, really appreciate and admire his style."
Dave said the least favorite part of his job has been forecasting during severe weather because there's stress and he knows lives are being interrupted. He is looking forward to relaxing and spending more time with his family in retirement.
"I love all of my kids. I have a lot of kids" he said. "I have seven kids and six grandkids, so I'm enjoying life. Grandpa will be around a little bit more."
To see more from Dave and learn about how forecasting the weather has changed over the years, click on the box above to watch the first in a series of stories on his retirement after more than 43 years at KSTP-TV.
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