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I'm an Emmy Award Winning meteorologist at Fox 61 in Hartford. For the latest forecast updates (and fun stuff too, like food and family pics), please follow me on Facebook, twitter and instagram. I look forward to interacting with you there!

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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Person video of Joplin MO tornado 5/22/11


WOW. This is scarier than the worst horror movie I have ever seen. You can hear the horror in people's voices as they huddled inside a store in Joplin, MO waiting for the tornado to pass.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Taste Of Summer Tuesday!

Big weather changes are in the forecast! A warm front is moving north of the region allowing summer-like air to take over. Patchy dense fog will burn away Tuesday morning revealing partly sunny skies. But summer warmth comes with summer instability! Scattered showers and thunderstorms will pop up midday. Any storm that develops has the potential to produce gusty winds, heavy rain and maybe some hail. A cold front will move through Tuesday night bringing temperatures back to normal for Wednesday.

 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Not As Bad As Last Week!

Once again you will need the umbrella at times this week. But overall, this week will be brighter and warmer than the crap we were stuck with last week!

An approaching warm front is providing mostly cloudy skies, patchy fog and scattered showers on Monday. The warm front will usher in a summer-like air mass Tuesday with more humidity and high temperatures in the 70s and 80s. But summer warmth comes with the opportunity for pop up thunderstorms, mainly in the afternoon. Showers and cooler temperatures return on Wednesday. Thursday looks mild and dry with more scattered storms Friday.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I Won My First Emmy!



I’m officially an Emmy Award Winning Meteorologist! I love the sound of that! I randomly see the golden statue or think about the Emmy and squeak like a mouse because I’m so happy, excited and proud of myself.

The official title of my award is “On Camera Talent Anchor-Weather”. To enter, you need to submit a composite. I submitted two full forecasts. One weathercast was blizzard coverage (plenty of those to choose from this year). The other was a normal summer forecast complete with the “Frizz Factor” and an explanation of the term “dog days of summer”.

I don’t think anyone understands how shocked I am. I’m normally very critical of myself. 95% of the time I finish a weathercast and say, “eh, I could’ve done better.” In January every ounce of my energy went into forecasting. I didn’t sleep or have a minute to myself. Then I would agonize about missing the forecast by an inch or two. I would think “I’m not cut out for this job. I might die 10 years sooner from stress.”

But all the stress and insecurities leaked out of me in that moment that I heard my name announced at the 2011 Boston/New England Emmy Awards.

May 14, 2011-The Emmy Award Ceremony

When my sister Jade told me she wanted to come with me to the ceremony/dinner, I told her she would be bored. This was my first nomination so I didn’t know what to expect. But everyone said it was a long night, two hours away (Quincy, MA). The nominees in my categories are Boston legends. Harvey Leonard has been on the air in Beantown for 25 years. He has two Emmys. Another nominee, Mike Wankum has ten golden statues. Everyone in Boston knows his name. Jeremy Reiner and four time Emmy nominated Cyndy Fitzgibbon are outstanding meteorologists in one of the best markets in the country. I gave myself 10% odds of winning. But my sister wanted to come and I was happy to have her.

I presented the first Emmy awards of the night with FOX CT Morning News Anchor Sarah French! I was stiff and nervous talking in front of the room of anxious people. Luckily, I shot most of my nerves on stage so I wasn’t thinking about my category for the first half of the night. My category was one of the last.

FOX CT started raking in the awards. Jim Altman pulled in FOUR Emmys! It was amazing to see Sarah French sit there in shock when they announced her Emmy Award for the series “Make A Wish Mondays”. I was so happy for them and proud to work with such talented people. But towards the end, I started feeling waves of nervous energy. When that happened I would tell myself “look, you can always enter again next year”. I was already talking myself off the cliff!

The seven minutes before my award were a blur. “Are you O.K.?” My sister asked, concerned as I stared into space with a glazed look.

FINALLY! My category was up next. “Let’s just get this over with,” I thought to myself. I squeezed my sister’s leg and clenched my jaw. The presenters announced the list of nominees. “And the Emmy goes to…..” Why did the silence feel so much longer for my award!? Come on already!! “Ra…” Were they about to say my name? Sounds like the start of my name. Must be my imagination.

“RACHEL FRANK!” My sister screamed like a little girl screams when she sees a bug. The whole FOX section was cheering. (We had three tables). I sat there processing what had just happened with tears filling my eyes. Was I about to cry? My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding and I felt like I was drunk. Was this real!? I raced up the stage. Crap, what would I say? It’s not like I expected to win!

First, I thanked FOX for letting me be myself on TV, even though “I can be weird sometimes”. I also thanked my sister Jade, making a joke about how she was complaining about the long drive all night. I threw the award up in the air and said “Jade, I hope this makes up for it.” I should’ve given a shout out to the nominees. Instead I babbled about not knowing what else to say and repeated the words “thank you” over and over again.

The award they hand you is a dummy. The real deal sits in a box with satin lining in an adjacent room. I just leaned on the table with the Emmy, needing a moment to catch my breath. Tears filled up my eyes again and my face hurt from smiling so much. I made my way to the media wall and opened the black box for the first time. I pulled out the Emmy. It was heavy! Maybe eight pounds? It said my name on it! I was in la la land. “Are you ready?” the photographer had been waiting for me. “What’s your award for, Miss?” “The weather,” I said proudly. “I’m a meteorologist.”

Sunday, May 15, 2011

FOX CT Wins Eight Emmy Awards! SO PROUD!


On Saturday I went to my first Boston / New England Emmy Award Ceremony! I was nominated for my first Emmy award and I won! I'm elated, shocked, honored...I'm going to write a detailed account of the night(that I'm sure will be boring to everyone except myself). But I need a second to breathe before I can sit still long enough to write something. But here's a quick post about who won awards at FOX! I'm so proud to work with such talented people!

On Camera Talent Anchor- Weather: Meteorologist Rachel Frank

Writer- News: Jim Altman

Feature News Report Light Series: Sarah French, for 'Make A Wish Mondays'

Editor- News, Within 24 Hours: Mike Piskorski

Spot News: Jim Altman and Sharon Burke, for 'Bridgeport Tornado: Surviving The Storm'

On Camera Talent Commentator / Editorialist: Jim Shea and editor Matt Nodland, for 'Too Shea'

Feature News Report Light Feature: Jim Altman and Mike Piskorski, for 'Band Of Brothers'

On Camera Talent Reporter- Feature / Human Interest: Jim Altman

Wet, Gloomy Week

This week's weather will be great for people who need water for their grass. You will also be happy with the forecast if you suffer from allergies. But for those with outdoor plans, this week is yucky, wet, grey, gloomy, soggy...you get the picture.

Remember how most of last week was dry, with a big blocking pattern? Well now that same pattern is working to our disadvantage, keeping unsettled weather in the forecast for the entire work week! Monday will feature mostly cloudy skies, fog and scattered showers. There is a better chance Tuesday and Wednesday for steady (at times heavy) rain. A southeasterly will bring in moisture from the ocean, keeping temperatures in the 60s. Isolated thunderstorms are possible, especially late week.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Carbon Copy Forecast Wednesday

Wednesday will be a carbon copy of the past two days with an storm stuck spinning over the ocean. Just like today, there will be more clouds east of Hartford (closer to the storm), and more sunshine in western Connecticut. You will feel a breeze at times with winds blowing out of the north 5-15 mph. Thursday and Friday features improvement with warmer temperatures and more sunshine as high pressure briefly takes over. The weekend looks good too with just a few showers possible late Sunday.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Freak Snowstorm 34 Years Ago & 2011 Snow Summary

On this day back in 1977, it snowed up to 9” in parts of the state (and today’s highs were near 70 degrees)! Today is also the latest day to feature measurable snow on record in Windsor Locks!


One of the great things about working in what we call “Connecticut’s Newsroom” is that I share an office with the Courant. I asked around and Tina Bachetti, a Senior Information Specialist who works with archived news, found the paper from that day!

Since the files are in pdf format and they're hard to attach I made Cliffsnotes for you! But if you're interested in seeing the whole article, e-mail me at rfrank@ctnow.com.



  • $1.5 million damages to the states tobacco industry

  • 9 inches of snow fell in the hills of Winchester, Norfolk and North Canaan

  • 1.3” Snow at Bradley Intl. Airport

  • 25,000 customers lost power

  • Snowplows weren’t even used because the snow melted so fast! It was spring after all!

This was the latest measurable snow EVER in Windsor Locks! Which means…YES! It’s fairly safe to say we are done seeing measurable snow this year!

Final total: 86.4” in Windsor Locks which is the 2nd snowiest year on record (and we basically achieved all that in a month). The number one spot is 1995-96 with 115.2”.

Bridgeport received 62.6" of snow this season.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mild Monday, More Clouds Tuesday

The ocean storm that brought us clouds late Sunday is pulling away temporarily. Some morning clouds will give way to mostly sunny skies and mild afternoon temperatures. You will feel a breeze at times with wind blowing out of the north at 5 to 15 mph. The ocean storm will move back closer to Connecticut on Tuesday. Clouds will thicken up with a shower in spots and cooler temperatures. The weather improves on Wednesday as the storm moves away yet again. Thursday is the pick of the week!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Cold Start Friday, NICE Finish!

Grab a jacket Friday morning! Temperatures will start off in the 30s and low 40s with patchy frost. But abundant sunshine will help make for a nice, milder afternoon! Winds are blowing out of the southwest with gusts up to 20 mph. Clouds will increase a little in the afternoon with a shower possible later Friday night. A series of disturbances will affect us over the weekend. Some showers are likely on Saturday. Although there could be an afternoon shower on Sunday, most of the day will be dry!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Chilly, Windy Thursday. Better Friday.

After a cool and wet Wednesday, Thursday will be an improvement! The good news is the steady rain is over. The bad news is that a cold front is ushering in a cool air mass making it feel more like April than May! Any morning sun will fade, turning out mostly cloudy and windy with gusts up to 30 mph. A shower is possible in spots Thursday afternoon. Friday looks even better with temperatures warming back into the 60s with mostly sunny skies. A shower or two is possible both Saturday and Sunday but both days will stay mainly dry for any Mother’s Day weekend plans.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Where were you when you found out Bin Laden was dead?

Sunday night in the middle of my weathercast I heard a loud conversation taking place in the newsroom. This happens from time to time and it can be very distracting. In the middle of my weathercasts I’m adlibbing, thinking about the weather, the order of my graphics, the amount of time I have remaining, and the last thing I need is something else to think about.

The voices started getting louder. I’m getting more and more annoyed.

Suddenly, I hear in middle of my forecast, “WRAP!!” It’s my producer telling me in my earpiece that my time was up. First the distractions and now this? I was still 3 graphics away from the 7 day. I should have another minute at least! Something was up. I tried to get through the end of the forecast as quickly as possible.

Rushing makes me stutter. It wasn’t pretty. I finish the weathercast and Brent says we’re waiting for the President to make an announcement. Ohhh, OK. That explains why I needed to wrap. And then someone told me WHY the president was speaking. “Osama is freakin’ dead, the U.S. killed him and we have the body!” A producer shouted, while running past me in a giddy voice.

“What?” I needed to digest the information. A wave of emotion rolled over me. This was a historic moment. I grew up in Battery Park City, next to the World Trade Center. I knew people who were there watching the horror unfold on 9/11 day. I felt like I was there with them. But now I feel relieved to know that there’s some closure for the victims of 9/11. It was exciting to be in the newsroom as latest information slowly leaked in. The mood was electric.

Anyway, I’ll always remember where I was when the world found out Bin Laden was dead. I was in the middle of doing the weather. I guess I’ll forgive the crowd of excited editors and producers making noise. Because that news was worth celebrating.

Monday, May 2, 2011

May Preview

May has the highest average rainfall out of any month of the year!! More rain is the result of cool air hanging on and mild air trying to build in. The frequency of thunderstorms will increase.



On a lighter note, the average high temperature increases by ten degrees this month. Mmmmmmm, mid 70s...

April Milder Than "Normal"

With all the cloudy dreary, icky days this April, you might be surprised to know that temperatures were actually about a degree above average! April in Connecticut is a tricky month and the grey days are NORMAL for this time of year. This month was also above average in rainfall.

One of the reasons it felt cooler than normal is because we were spoiled last year with nice mild weather! Check out the number of days we spent in the 70s, 80s and 90s this year compared to 2010!