Chief Meteorologist, WVUE Fox 8 News
Greg Miles PHOTOGRAPH
David Bernard is the ultimate weather geek, in the best possible way. He is a consummate professional who is always monitoring the shifting winds and weather, traveling to hurricane conferences and reading up on the latest forecasting technologies.
Originally from Houston, Bernard grew up tracking Gulf storms. He would later gather experience tracking tornados in both Texas and Oklahoma. Becoming a meteorlogist was a no-brainer.
Bernard began his local career at WWLTV, and gained attention for his forecasting of not only standard gully washer pop-up storms, but also for his steady guidance through Hurricane Ivan. He solidified his hurricane forecasting experience after moving to an affiliate in Miami, where he was on call for mega-storms Katrina, Rita and Wilma.
While weather is Bernard’s career passion, he has also always been passionate about the good food, good people, and good times in New Orleans, so much so, that, Bernard returned to New Orleans in 2015 and was soon tapped to replace retiring WVUE Fox 8 Chief Meteorologist Bob Breck, a sunny outcome that may have been forecast from the very beginning.
at a glance
Age: 48 Born/raised: Houston, Texas Education: University of Texas, Mississippi State University Favorite book: Confederacy of Dunces Favorite movie: Life is Beautiful Favorite tv show: Currently, House of Cards Favorite food: Mexican Favorite restaurant: This is a loaded question! It is an ongoing quest that I hope I never find the answer.
Q: Have you always been interested in weather?
I’ve been interested in the weather about as long as I can remember. The first storm I tracked was Hurricane Anita in the Western Gulf of Mexico in 1977. It became a Category 5 storm off the Texas and Louisiana coastlines but eventually weakened and slipped southwest into Mexico. It sure made an impression!
Q: What fascinates you most about your job?
This is an easy one. The best part of my job is that each and every day is different. You may see sunny skies for three days straight, but I’m always looking for what’s coming next. Shifting jet streams, cloud and pressure patterns all mean that a change is ALWAYS on the way! There’s never a dull moment.
Q: You were stationed for a time in New Orleans, moved away and came back. What draws you to New Orleans?
I was destined to be a New Orleanian one way or the other. When I was a child, my parents came over from Houston to see the King Tut exhibit at NOMA. I thought Egypt was just about the most fascinating place on Earth, and when I found out New Orleans had landed that exhibit my intrigue for the city began to grow.
But as far as living in New Orleans the answer is quite simple and one you’ve probably heard many times: the people. I can honestly say I don’t think I’ve ever been to another place that is more welcoming. New Orleans is also about being different and celebrating individuality, which is something I can appreciate and embrace.
Q: June is when we see hurricane season start; what is your number one piece of advice for people preparing for the summer?
You should know right now how you will protect your property and where and how you will evacuate if necessary. Prepare an evacuation “kit” now so you don’t have to scramble at the last minute. If we do not need to evacuate, be prepared to keep your family fed for a week with as many alternate options for power as possible.
Q: A storm is coming; you can grab three things to evacuate with. What are they?
Well that’s one question I never need to consider because I’m here for the duration! However for everyone else here are a few off the top.
• A hard copy of important contacts (don’t rely on just your phone)
• Evacuation Supply Kit (food, water, medicine & pet food)
Q: When people recognize you on the street, what is the most common thing they say?
“Hey David! Glad you’re back!” And that, more than anything, makes me feel very welcome!
I would give anything to be a professional singer.