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I first set foot in the FOX6 Weather Center when I was 9 years old. At that time, I think my parents thought it was cute that I had such an interest in weather. Well, I guess in some ways I never grew up.

My trip to FOX6 includes a tour through every area code in Wisconsin. I grew up in West Allis (or “Stallis” to some) and graduated from Pius High XI High School.

My next stop was UW-Madison where I studied Atmospheric and Oceanic Science, which is really just a fancy name for meteorology. One of my classes included an internship at FOX6. Vince Condella and Bart Adrian made it the most fun 2 credits I could earn.

After working for Weather Central in Madison I got my first TV job in Rhinelander followed by a stop in Green Bay.

These days I live in Menomonee Falls along with my beautiful wife, Amy, and our son, Alexander, who joined us in September 2012. Amy and I are thrilled to be back in the area we grew up close to friends and family. And I can't forget the final member of our family, Camille, a tuxedo cat named after the category 5 hurricane of 1969.

Other than watching the clouds drift by, I’m a huge sports nut. I love golf but golf doesn’t always love me. If you see me on the course, be prepared to duck!


Recent Articles
  • Weather and climate is very different at 10,000 ft.

    Gaining weather knowledge on a road trip

    Monday afternoon I arrived back in town after a 7 day family road trip. The Zollitsch family tour (including myself, wife Amy, and 9 month old Zander) covered about 1,600 miles over 7 states, 12 wrong turns (sadly the first one was before we left town), 2 get- me-out-of-this-car-seat meltdowns, 0 speeding tickets, and countless fast food stops. Of course, a vacation like this is a chance to get away from work and focus on family time. But there is […]

  • Moore, OK after the EF-5 tornado on May 20th. Credit: Ben Handelman

    How common are EF-5 tornadoes?

    The video and images coming out of Moore, Oklahoma are almost surreal. You may be thinking how can wind do such incredible damage? Or how can cars be piled up against the side of a hospital? Or how can a metal beam turn into mangled debris?  Tornadoes like the one that struck Moore on May 20, 2013 are very rare, though Moore has the unlucky distinction of being ground zero for two of them since 1999. On average the United […]

  • Mammatus clouds forming under the anvil of a decaying storm. Photo by Stephanie Kohman

    Damaging winds from a “heat burst”

    Something very unusual happened Tuesday night (5/14/13) in southeast Wisconsin. A night that did not have any thunderstorms in the forecast gave us damaging winds but very little rain and almost no thunder and lightning. Gusts of 63 mph were measured in Menomonee Falls and 68 mph in Oconomowoc. Around the same time the temperature in West Bend rose from 64° to 77° in a matter of minutes. What in the world happened and why wasn’t this in the forecast? […]

  • Warm start to May

    Now showing in Wisconsin, spring, summer, and winter

    It’s quite possible you’re reading this blog entry while keeping the aloe in close proximity. Yes, the last 2 days have given us our first chance to get a real sunburn. Folks in southeast Wisconsin have reintroduced themselves to shorts and flip flops as temps soared to the 80s. Not far away such a thought is ludicrous. Lakes are frozen solid and another 6 to 9 inches of snow is in the forecast. So what is going on? How can […]

  • Milwaukee lakefront looking south.

    “Cooler by the lake” is back

    A sure sign of spring is the addition of “cooler by the lake” to the forecast. On Friday and Saturday with temps in the upper 40s and maybe even low 50s a distinct temperature contrast between Lincoln Memorial Dr. and St. Paul Ave. in Waukesha will certainly take shape. So what effect does the lake have on our temperatures and to what degree? (pun intended). We all know the basics. The cool waters of Lake Michigan (let’s say 35°) refrigerates […]

  • Hanging with Brrrt the Snow Stick on the weather deck. One of us is ready for spring.

    Dear Winter, I’m so over you!

    Dear Winter, I’m breaking up with you. I’m sorry if this seems sudden but I’ve grown tired of you for a few weeks now. I didn’t think this letter would be necessary after St. Patrick’s day which is about the time you usually disappear for good. I thought we’d fade apart by now and I’m alright with that. But you’re not getting the hints I keep dropping. Didn’t you think it was strange the other day when I was cleaning off […]

  • Clearing snow off a driveway after a late winter snow in southeast Wisconsin

    Why it’s harder to warm up this year

    In the middle of March 2012 we weren’t just thinking spring, many of us were thinking summer. Temps swelled to the 60s but that wasn’t enough so we rose to the 70s. A week later we set consecutive records for an all time March temperature with sizzling 83 and 84 degree days. This year we’d be ecstatic to hit the 40s, so what gives? When it comes to March weather you have to keep one thing in mind, snow cover. […]

  • Late Feb. drought conditions in Wisc.

    Wet winter a big help with drought

    In my last blog entry I left off touching on how our messy mix of rain and snow has given us some firepower in our ongoing drought battle. That case was made stronger when a few days later a winter storm buried much of the area under 6-12” of snow (and in some places 15”). Lets back up the calendar to a time when the land was parched. After an arid fall followed a bone dry summer we finshed the […]

  • Sunset after light snow 2/19/13 (credit: Phil Koch)

    It’s been a snowy winter in Wisconsin, but not here

    MILWAUKEE (WITI) — For the second time in a row our winter hasn’t looked so white in around Milwaukee. While we’ve seen more snow than last year to this point (22” vs. 18”) we’re well behind our normal amount of about 35”. But we are the exception. Most of the state has seen their fair share of snow and in some cases have already reached a normal winter’s amount with a few weeks left to go. Here are the numbers […]

  • Asteroid Vesta passes near earth in July 2011. Credit: NASA/JPL

    Earth about to get a close shave from space

    This Friday you can go about your business and not worry about a giant asteroid colliding with earth and ruining your day (along with everyone else’s). Unlike the movie “Armageddon” there will be no need to blast Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck into space with a nuclear bomb to demolish the incoming celestial bullet, though in reality such a blast would actually make it worse. While this flying rock will miss earth, scientists have a chance to use the close […]

  • rain

    How much snow would this rain make?

    A common question we hear with wintertime rain is how much snow would we get if we weren’t getting rain? But this question overlooks one major variable, temperature. Asking how much snow we’d get when it’s raining on a 60 degree day in January is like asking “what would this orange taste like if it wasn’t an apple?” The amount of snow or rain we get from a particular storm system depends on how much moisture the air can hold. […]

  • Image most of us think of for traveling through space at light speed. Credit: University of Leicester

    We can’t travel at the speed of light, but we know what it would look like

    Attention Star Wars and Star Trek fans. This blog entry will make you question everything you know!!! Ok, that’s a bit of an overstatement but scientists much brighter than me have discovered something that may make you chuckle the next time you watch an episode when Captain Kirk, Picard, or Solo put the pedal to the metal. Think back to any time the Enterprise, Millennium Falcon, or any Sci-fi spaceship travels at the speed of light (I think this includes […]

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