Caitlin Roth joined the FOX 29 news team as a meteorologist in January, 2012. Prior to coming to Philadelphia, she was a meteorologist and mid-day news anchor at WOWT-TV, the NBC affiliate in Omaha, Nebraska, for four years. She started as
an on-air meteorologist for AccuWeather in State College where she also worked for “Weather or Not” and CNET in Centre County, Pennsylvania.
Caitlin graduated from Penn State University in 2008 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology. Before college, she grew up in Doylestown, just North of Philadelphia, and watched the Weather Channel religiously. To pursue her longtime passion for meteorology, she chose Penn State for its strong program and endless majors. While not yet decided on TV meteorology, she discovered how much she loved it after enrolling in a course on broadcasting. From there, she further explored her interest throughout her undergraduate studies that would eventually lead to her current role.
A favorite memory Caitlin holds at Penn State was during her sophomore year when she excelled in the course well known for causing the jitters, Public Speaking. At the same time, there was a competition hosted by the New York Times for which her classmates had nominated her. As one of six contestants chosen to speak in front of the NY Times panelists, Caitlin won the runner up position, a Barnes & Noble gift card, and most importantly, the validation of her comfort and abilities for public speaking. You could see the excitement she felt at the time as she recounted the story with the same energy.
While Caitlin misses Penn State, her schedule makes it tough to travel the distance for weekends and football. She has only been to State College a few times since graduating in 2008 when visiting her sister, Julie, and attending a conference with the American Meteorological Society. The last time she stopped by was about a year and a half ago. Unlike past visits, everything now came to mind with a different perspective. As she recalled her memories, they reflected in her thoughts with an enthralling sense of nostalgia that brought her comfort.
On a normal Philadelphian day, Caitlin starts by preparing a forecast, then briefs the rest of the news room so they can write teases, commercials, and craft graphics for the show. She enjoys keeping her airtime interactive via social media by kicking off her show with a personal forecast request from Twitter. After casting the first round of TV, and taking a moment for dinner, she returns to the drawing board to prepare the next session.
When asked what challenges were faced, Caitlin explained how weather in Philadelphia can be tricky because of the mountains, ocean, urban setting, and topography. A great place for weather is in the middle of the land, like Omaha, where she worked previously. There are the same four seasons. But the climate is more extreme. It is colder, hotter, more humid, and much windier.
The industry can present its own hurdles as well. Caitlin constantly feels she must prove her intelligence. She mentioned TV can be harsh and shallow – meeting with Caitlin was quite the opposite; she had a kind and lively presence that made us feel very welcomed – but added that the main issue has to do with people not understanding meteorology being science heavy. At times, having to prove oneself becomes more of an obstacle as a woman working amongst many men.
Nevertheless, Caitlin loves meteorology and was happy to share advice with future alumni wanting to pursue similar career paths. Looking back, she wishes to have been involved in non-major related activities. Even still, her advice is to sacrifice a club and participate in all of the co-curricular activities available, especially if having trouble with course work like she was. “There are plenty of other opportunities to succeed outside of curriculum.” As a student, she was involved with the Campus Weather Service, which was one of many steps in her career.
Caitlin also recommends starting early, working hard, keeping eyes open to opportunities, and staying in touch. As she reflected on her experience in Omaha, she urges students to take whatever opportunities they can, as each one prepares you for further opportunities. From every step of the way, Caitlin has an advisor or mentor with whom she remains connected so they may continue to help one another. She appreciates all the support she has received and hopes to one day pay it forward.
Miss Caitlin Roth covers the weekend forecasts and occasionally weekdays. Be sure to follow Caitlin Roth @CaitlinFox29!
For more information, please contact the Office of Development and Alumni Relations at (215) 881-7368.