Jay Cardosi, chief meteorologist at WLKY-32, has known for the longest time that he was destined to be a weatherman. In fact, he knew it as young as six years old.
Cardosi explained he was quarterback of his little league football team. One hot, sunny Sunday afternoon, he was down under center, preparing to call out the cadence, or snap count, when all of a sudden he saw an unbelievable cloud in the sky; it was a thunderstorm cloud forming.
“Long story short, I said to myself, ‘whoa’,” Cardosi said. “The center thought I said ‘hike.’ I didn’t, I wasn’t ready for it, the ball came up and hit me in the face mask. But the linebacker across the way flattened me. I’m lying on my back, he’s on top of me and I’m thinking to myself, I want to be a
He’s come a long way from the little league grid iron, majoring in meteorology at Iowa State. Then working jobs at WOI in Des Moines, Iowa and KETV in Omaha, Neb., before settling with wife Laura in Louisville in 1996. Cardosi is proud to be the longest tenured weather person in the Louisville market. In fact, that longevity here in our community is what Cardosi said, sets him apart from other forecasters.
“I think that says something when it comes to forecasting the weather,” Cardosi said, “because you learn all those little idiosyncrasies about the community and about the ‘micro casting’ that takes place. How one little area always seems to get severe weather and others don’t.”
Cardosi tries to emphasize two or three main points of interest in his presentation of the weather and to educate and inform his viewers. But he readily admits that 90 to 95 percent of the time, his job is not brain surgery—particularly on a 75 degree, sunshiney day. “However, on that 5 percent of the time, when it is important, like March 2nd [a day of serious tornado activity], we’re all business here, and want to try to keep your family safe,” Cardosi said, “That’s number one—that your family is safe.”
Cardosi loves forecasting the weather here in Louisville because of its location in the Ohio Valley, with its “very changeable” nature. “We can get as you know, tornadoes, one day … but then two days later, we had two inches of snow. So it just goes to show you how changeable and challenging weather forecasting is in the Ohio Valley.”
Cardosi said that a lot of people wanted to blame global warning for our just past mild winter. He said that is not true, that it was just a weather pattern we were in for three or four months. Halfway around the world, it was colder and snowier than ever.
Cardosi said the down side to being a meteorologist is when you “blow” a forecast. He said most people do not expect you to be 100 percent correct, 100 percent of the time. Cardosi said that people realize when a forecast is botched, people understand that stuff happens. What Cardosi does is try to learn from it.
“I go back and look at the weather models and go back and look at the data,” Cardosi said. “Why did I miss it? So if I have a similar situation in the future, I don’t do it again.” Cardosi said that all the weather people in Louisville, receive the same information, the same weather data to formulate their forecast. That’s when experience takes over to determine the best forecast possible.