Fred Gossage is the Chief Forecaster for the Shoals Weather StormTrack Team and has been in that position since the start of Shoals Weather in August 2011.
Fred is definitely no stranger to forecasting Alabama’s weather, having over 24 years of experience forecasting our dangerous weather, with a heavy emphasis on severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. In addition to Shoals Weather, Fred has helped during numerous severe weather events at WBRC FOX 6 in Birmingham, Alabama… including the April 27, 2011 “Super Outbreak”. Fred has also worked, over the years, for various online weather forecasting companies, and was professionally employed as a weather forecaster and customer service technician for Baron Services of Huntsville in 2011, the weather graphics vendor that created the VIPIR system that many of you are probably familiar with.
You may notice that Fred is listed as “Forecaster” instead of “Meteorologist”. That is because Fred is working toward his college education, but he has not yet earned an official degree in meteorology. “It’s something I just haven’t earned yet. Life has been an interesting roller coaster, but that time hasn’t come yet… but it IS coming.” Fred explained in response to his formal education. “In the meantime, I’m putting my years of experience to work to help serve my community the best way I know how. Over the past 24 years, I have forecasted and studied in a daily operational environment, and much of that studying has involved college level textbooks and resources you will find in many university meteorology programs. The internet came along at just the right time as I was growing up in the 90’s so that I could get my hands on the same educational resources AND operational data used by meteorologists. Still, I AM working toward my degree, because it’s a big goal in my life, and my childhood dream has been to be a professional meteorologist. It’s coming. But in the meantime, I am going to use my experience and the education and resources that I do have to serve my community. One of the most respected chief meteorologists in Alabama respects my knowledge and forecast experience as that of a degreed meteorologist, and one of the largest broadcast weather vendors in the industry hired me to professionally do forecasting work for them because THEY thought I had the education level, experience, and skill necessarily to do the job. Having said that, I’m not going to call myself a ‘meteorologist’ until I have the degree in my hand. It would be disrespectful to all the people that have gone before me and put that time and effort in their lives to earn that. It’s coming for me too, but until it does, I’m not going to disrespect them by using a title that I have not yet earned.” Fred is also working hard toward earning the National Weather Association’s Digital Seal of Approval, an additional layer of credibility.
When Fred is not on the forecast desk, he enjoys cooking, being outdoors, and attending his family’s church at Union Grove Freewill Baptist Church in Vandiver, Alabama whenever possible. Fred is also interested in Alabama football (but has great respect for Auburn) and is a huge Batman fan.
Feel free to contact Fred by following the social media and email links above!