• July 22, 2018

Channel 5 gains HHS grad - Herscher Pilot: News

Channel 5 gains HHS grad

Kalee Dionne, a 2003 Herscher graduate, will be returning to the area to report Chicago’s weather on NBC’s WMAQ Channel 5 this fall. 

Dionne, 30, has worked as a meteorologist for stations from Illinois, Alabama, and Kansas City since getting her degree in Radio and TV Broadcasting from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale. She added to her education in 2011 when she earned a second degree in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University. 

Dionne says she has been interested in the weather since she was young. 

“My parents always asked if I wanted to watch cartoons in the morning, but I wanted to watch the news and weather,” Dionne said over the phone on Thursday. 

The historic tornado of 1996 that ran through central Illinois in particular sparked her interest in severe weather. 

“I wanted to know more about those storms and how they worked, how they were so strong and damaging,” Dionne said. 

The severe weather is what Dionne finds most fascinating in her line of work. She was part of the team at WIAT-TV in Birmingham, Alabama that covered the line of super tornadoes in April of 2011 that killed 243 people. She and her team attribute the Edward R. Murrow award they received largely to their coverage of those tornadoes. 

After perfecting her weathercasting skills at stations throughout the Midwest, Dionne is ready to return to Chicago and bring her knowledge of severe weather with her. 

“I will know the area so that makes me a better meteorologist, being familiar with it,” she said.

Besides being aware of the area, Dionne is excited to have a local fan base in her parents, Rex and Connie, and brother Tobey. Her husband, Jonathan, and dog, Mia, will also be joining her back in downtown Chicago. 

“All of my family members are going to be able to watch me,” she said.

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