Bill got his start at the age of five, when he sold enough Kool-aid on the side of the road to buy himself his very first home-based weather station. After that, Bill saved every newspaper weather map for more than 10 years from his hometown newspaper in Miami, Fla., so he could learn how to track storms.
As a teenager Bill started forecasting weather on radio in Florida at an early age. He was only 15. Bill joined the Jacksonville Weather Watchers, a weather club that worked with local TV weather people, and that led to his first internship with the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Fla. Bill then earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida State University, and it was off to WBBH in Ft. Myers, Florida, for his first job in television in the summer of 1980.
After getting some on-air experience in Ft. Myers, Bill moved up to Chief Meteorologist at WWTV in Traverse City, Mich. Bill remained the Chief Meteorologist for WWTV for 13 years, while forecasting for 11 radio stations.
In 1993 Bill was hired as Chief Meteorologist for KSNT in Topeka, Kan., and that's where he learned all about tornado forecasting. Bill tells the story of being live on the air when a tornado was heading toward the TV station. The tornado skipped by the station with winds of more than 100 mph, and damaged the roof of the station. Bill was the only meteorologist to remain on the air during this tornado.
Bill was hired as Chief Meteorologist at WNWO in Toledo in 1997. He joined WTVG 13abc in April 2008.
Bill has been voted Toledo's Best Weathercaster by Toledo City Paper readers for the past three years in a row.
Bill continues to forecast for radio stations in Northern Michigan and Kansas. He does more than 300 live and taped weather reports on radio each month, and even more in severe weather.
Bill has won several awards for his weather coverage in all types of severe weather. He won the Emmy for On-Air Craft - Best Weather Anchor in 2011. He won an Emmy for his coverage of the devastating Wood County tornado outbreak of June 2010. He was awarded the key to the city of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., after nearly two days of non-stop hurricane coverage. Bill has also received special awards from Michigan to Kansas for his tornado and severe weather coverage.
Why does Bill wear a flower on his lapel? Is it real? Bill wears a real boutonniere everyday in honor of Bill Zeliff, TV Meteorologist in Ft. Myers. Zeliff passed away a few years ago, but gave Blizzard Bill his first broadcasting job at WBBH in Ft. Myers in 1980.
Why do they call him Blizzard Bill? While the Chief Meteorologist at WWTV in Traverse City, Bill predicted three blizzards within 10 days. All three happened, according to his prediction.
Bill was excited to get big storms as he loves snow, hence the nickname "Blizzard Bill." Blizzard Bill's motto: "You'll never be alone in a storm again."
Bill's weathercasts have been awarded the seal of approval from the American Meteorological Society and The National Weather Assocation. You can email Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org and go to Bill's Facebook page at facebook.com/blizzardbill
Watch Blizzard Bill weekday mornings and at noon on 13abc Action News.