Sally Severson Bio, Age, Husband, Education, Awards, 12 News, Twitter

Sally Severson Biography

Sally Severson is an American Meteorologist for WISN 12 News. She has been providing early morning weather broadcasts on “12 News. An award-winning meteorologist, she has covered weather-related disasters in Wisconsin and around the country, including first-hand reports from Punta Gorda, Fla., during Hurricane Charley in August 2004 and the tornado outbreak in Moore, Oklahoma on May 2014.

Sally Severson Age

Severson was born on 09/23/1957. She is 61 years old as of 2018.

Sally Severson Husband

Severson is happily married, Sally enjoys being with her husband, family, and big, lab mix Bailey. She enjoys anything outdoors like hiking, biking, and travel.

Sally Severson Education

Sally received her degree in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University.

Sally Severson Image

Sally Severson Image

Sally Severson Career

Sally Severson has been providing early morning weather broadcasts on “12 News This Morning” since the morning newscast began in 1986.

An award-winning meteorologist, she has covered weather-related disasters in Wisconsin and around the country, including first-hand reports from Punta Gorda, Fla., during Hurricane Charley in August 2004 and the tornado outbreak in Moore, Oklahoma in May 2014. Sally was also in Switzerland and Belgium during Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, D.C., providing live reports to the foreign and U.S. media about how American travelers were handling the news from home.

She is actively involved with the community and particularly enjoys working with children & teens. Providing interactive weather demonstrations to literally thousands of young minds in schools throughout southeastern Wisconsin. Sally is pleased to host WISN’s Top Teacher. A monthly series highlighting the best educators around southern Wisconsin.

Sally Severson Awards

Sally received an Emmy for her work in WISN’s documentary “Street Smart Kids.” She was awarded Best Weathercast by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association in 2013. Sally was inducted into the Emmy Silver Circle, a lifetime achievement honor bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Sally Severson 12 News

Severson is an American Meteorologist for WISN 12 News. She has been providing early morning weather broadcasts on “12 News.

Sally Severson Twitter

Sally Severson News



Sally Severson, a morning meteorologist at WISN 12 News in Milwaukee, says her heart is in the country even though she predicts a weather forecast for the big city. Severson spoke with students at Watertown High School as a part of the A.E. “Mike” Bentzin Memorial Speaker’s program on Wednesday. “I love all of this open country here in Wisconsin it is a great pleasure and privilege to work and be here,” she said. Severson has been an early morning weather broadcaster on WISN’s “12 News This Morning,” since the newscast began in 1986. “I feel very fortunate to be at a station that values experience.”

She grew up in northern Illinois and says her career as a meteorologist came about as sort of an accident. Her dad was an engineer and had a weather station. “My sister and three brothers became very accustomed to reading the machinery for him and taking his recordings. He was a scientist as well and he taught us the importance of looking at data.” When she started college Severson says she didn’t know what she wanted to do. “There were a lot of things I was really interested in, but when I graduated there weren’t speaker series and career days or anything like that.”

She ended up studying computer science while at school and after her dad died of pancreatic cancer, Severson took a job helping out at a TV station in Rockford, Ill., while working her way through school. “I worked full time and I went to university part-time when I was 18 years old.” She helped out in the newsroom, wrote commercial copy and did all the things that need to be done at a small market TV station. “Interestingly enough my niece Morgan is also a metrologist and is working at the TV station I did, WXRT in Rockford. It was fun to be in this newsroom and be around all the young people, the cub reporters, and the editors and the photographers.”

Eventually, Severson was asked to fill in on the weekend weather. “In the late 1970s, there were very few meteorologists on television. Most of the meteorologists at the time were working with the National Weather Service, Severe Storms Forecast Lab, Hurricane Center or they were engaged in research at universities. There were very few TV stations who had metrologists on the air.” At that time Severson used a magnetic board to tell the forecast and read the National Weather Service copy. “I knew I was completely out of my league and I didn’t feel good about trying to present something on TV that I knew very little about.”

Eventually, her interests led her to ask meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Rockford to help her learn about the weather and forecasting. “These were all very gruff military-trained meteorologists, several of these guys were trained in World War II and most of them in the Korean War. They took me in and showed me. I still use their snow forecasting technique.” After she got married she started to apply for jobs in Milwaukee, where her husband lived. Eventually, she was hired at WISN to computerize the newsroom. “I look back now and it was just dinosaurian compared to what we do now.”

After completing the job the news director asked Severson to fill in doing the morning weather forecast. “The rest is history. I went back to school to get my degree in atmospheric sciences.” She says she is constantly challenged by forecasting the weather. “Every single day we reinvent the wheel. Every day we know we are going to come into the building and there will be a newscast in the morning, but you don’t know what’s going to be in that newscast.”

She also says she has a good idea of what the weather is going to be like, but she said it is constantly changing. “If you are a person who likes routine and structure, working in a TV newsroom is not for you. If you are someone who likes to fly by the seat of your pants and see every day as a change and a challenge its the job for you.” Severson addressed some misconceptions about her job. She gets up every morning at 1:45 a.m. and is at the station by a little after 3 a.m. She also makes her own weather maps, forecast, and weather story each day. “I’m on my own for what you see on TV. I have years of college meteorology and sometimes I get it wrong and if I do it’s on me.”

She also has to try to figure out a different way to say the same thing. “How many ways can you say sunny, 48 along the lake and 60 inland?” No one pays for her clothes or does her hair and makeup. “If you see a dress you don’t like, blame me. I bought it. I don’t always keep up with the latest trend. I need something that is easy to do. I’m not going to spend three hours getting ready to go on TV.” She is not a weather girl. “I will go toe-to-toe with any scientist or meteorologist in this town. The term is antiquated and outdated and it needs to be removed.”

Severson learned long ago to tolerate being awake in the early morning and says she sleeps in shifts. “I don’t know how I did it as a young mother without sleeping in the afternoon.” Meteorologists don’t love severe weather she says. “I love to study storms. I love the radar, the beautiful skies. I still get a thrill when the horizon darkens and I can smell the rain in the air,” she said. “I don’t like the damage they do or the grief that they cause. I will take 70 and sunny over storms almost any day.”

Severson also addressed the naysayers who say, “I wish I could get paid to be wrong every day.” “It happens all the time, especially when it’s a snow forecast. I hate to be wrong and I’m still not sure how I got to be in a business that is not an exact science.” Why does she do it? “I like to help people get up and get out the door,” she said.

The A.E. Bentzin Memorial Speakers Program is designed to extend students’ view of the world and broaden their horizons for future possibilities. Through the speaker’s program, students learn about opportunities for careers and hear from individuals about accomplishments, experiences, and work that has had a constructive impact on the world. The A.E. “Mike” Bentzin Memorial assemblies program is designed as a lasting recognition of the contributions Bentzin made to the Watertown community during his life.