Chief Meteorologist Bill Steffen will soon be taking on a new role at WOOD TV-8. He will become the Chief Meteorologist Emeritus. That move will transition Ellen Bacca into the Chief Meteorologist role. Ellen becomes the first female Chief Meteorologist in West Michigan history.

Bill Steffen has been forecasting the weather here in West Michigan for 47 years. He first appeared on the West Michigan television airwaves on November 5th, 1974. At the time there were very few meteorologists at the local television stations. WZZM TV-13 was the first to have a meteorologist on staff with their hiring of Craig James. A short time after Craig arrived, Bill was added to the team at WZZM.

Bill was the face of the Blizzard of '78. While other meteorologists were snowed in and couldn't get to their TV stations, Bill was at TV-13 and did every forecast for 72 hours straight, getting very little sleep between newscasts.

In 2001, Bill made the move over to WOOD TV-8, following the footsteps of Craig James who had also made the move from TV-13 to TV-8 years earlier. When Craig retired in 2008, Bill took over the title of "chief meteorologist".

Steffen, who is 70 years old, moves into his new role of Chief Meteorologist Emeritus. This will give him more time to spend with his family. He will still be in the TV-8 Tracking Center. Bill will still be seen on News 8 at 6 pm, 10 pm, and 11 pm on weekends and will also continue to write his Bill’s Blog.

Ellen Bacca came to WOOD TV-8 in 2014. She has won numerous awards, including Emmys for Best Weathercast and Weather Anchor in Michigan. She has also been awarded the Best Weathercast from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

Here is a video that WOOD TV-8 produced to make the announcement of the changes in the Storm Team 8 Tracking Center...

Here is a video about Ellen...

Bill Steffen became a YouTube star during his broadcasts from his Man Cave during COVID-19. His cats would often be seen in the background and would occasionally get into a fight during the weather. This video has had over one million views.

I remember when Bill first started here in west Michigan. He was the morning meteorologist who would do local cut-ins during "Good Morning America" on TV-13. He would also give the forecast early in the morning during "Bozo's Big Top". His forecast usually included a poem that he wrote to describe the forecast for that day.

Congratulations Bill! Enjoy your new schedule!

 

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