Austen Onek

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Welcome back, my friends, to the show that never ends! We’re so glad you could attend!  Come inside! Come inside!  Welcome to my little corner of the interwebs! This is where the good stuff ends up! Glad you could stop by! This is where you read all the stuff about people you see on TV. Most of the time it’s all cut-and-paste “I-like-this-but-not-that” stuff. Well, I change that up here. This is stream-of-consciousness bio stuff. Try and keep up. (Actually, and truthfully, I’ve been told that this “blogging” and “internet” stuff hasn’t really caught on yet by our resident know-it-alls… no, really! So, I’m just waiting for the ‘experts’ take on when things will really zoom! :)

I am originally from Topeka, KS and graduated from The University of Kansas in 1991 with a degree in atmospheric science & physics (Rock Chalk Jayhawk!). I have been at WREG-TV since November 1997, working at Fort Smith/Fayetteville’s KFSM-5 and Topeka, KS KTKA-49 before arriving here. I also work part-time at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum on the Educational Department staff as their scientific advisor. I help instruct/perform several science classes including our “Magic of Science!” show in the Discovery Theater, and the Physical Science Lab downstairs near the CTI 3-D Giant theater, the only underground theater of its kind on the planet. We also have many other programs for students available, including Dive Into Sharks!, Tennessee Frontier, Microscopes and our WeatherWhys. Come by and see the exhibits!

Since graduating KU in May of 1991, I have spoken at over 350 schools, organizations, events in regards to weather, science, technology, careers, emergency preparedness and amateur radio. While at school presentations, I’m usually seen in the company of a large, multi-colored, portable tornado vortex generator that uses dry ice to create a miniature tornado. Want me to come to your school / event (weather/schedule permitting) ? Drop me an e-mail:

One of my favorite things is to help our viewing audience be more prepared for severe weather. I’ve been an amateur radio operator since February of 2000. My FCC license is KG4GKE. Usually, you can find me on 146.820 mHz, the Delta Amateur Radio Club repeater system. ( Although there are many other radio repeaters around the Mid-South. Want to get your license and start having fun as a ‘ham’? Visit or today!

My wife, Melissa, is a Shelby County Teacher Of Excellence, currently teaching 7th Grade Science at Bon Lin Middle School. We have two kids: Tristan, 18, who attends Germantown High School and plays baritone saxophone in the GHS Marching Band and is in the International Baccalaureate program, and Emma, 17, who plays flute in the Houston High marching band. We also have four dogs: Ella, Zoe & Marlo. Welcome to Skeldale House.

I’ve always been interested in weather as long as I can remember. Meteorologists like that are called “weather weenies” – no, really! I’m also interested in cooking, reading, astronomy, cryptogram puzzles, graphic art design, webcomics, amateur radio, photography and a lot of other stuff too numerous to mention. I am an Eagle Scout from Troop 59 in the Jayhawk Area Council in Topeka. These are a few of my favorite things, but not all of my favorite things, that make me feel real loose like a long-necked goose, and oh bay-buh! That’s what I like. With a courteous sneer to commentator Ian Shoales, I gotta’ go.

Austen L. Onek,  AMS  Meteorologist  /  Station Scientist


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