MISH Michaels said she spent her life searching the skies after a devastating tornado ripped through her home while she was in kindergarten.
The renowned meteorologist has died at the age of 53, her family confirmed on Wednesday.
Michaels began her career in New Hampshire before moving to Boston, where she appeared on local WHDH-TV and WBZ-TV.
WBZ-TV bosses called the weather reporter “curious” and someone who loved science.
They said the broadcaster “chased tornadoes and flew into hurricanes” as she shared her enthusiasm for the weather with viewers.
In her LinkedIn profile, Mish recalled that a tornado ripped through her apartment complex in Baltimore while she was in kindergarten.
She said the traumatic event inspired her curiosity to “search the sky”.
Mish received a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York.
She also earned a Masters in Technology from Harvard University.
Mish received a science journalism scholarship to study at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and won an Emmy Award during his career.
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute is home to at least one Nobel laureate.
Mish worked at WHDH and The Weather Channel before joining the WBZ-TV team in September 2001. She was on the outlet until July 2009.
In 2011, Mish went to the Massachusetts Legislature to add parental consent to the list of reasons unvaccinated children can attend school.
Massachusetts became the first state to require children to be vaccinated to attend school in 1855.
Lawmakers at the time wanted to protect children from viruses and contagious diseases.
Mish recalled that she and her husband had a relative who contracted leukemia after allegedly being exposed to vaccines and pesticides, The Globe reported.
Experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say the United States has the safest and most effective vaccine supply in its history.
Scientists are required to test vaccines for years before they become law.
And, CDC officials constantly monitor the vaccines for any side effects.
In January 2017, Mish said she had been appointed science reporter for radio station WGBH.
She tweeted: “I’m back on the science beat. I will be reporting for WGBH’s public affairs program “Greater Boston”.
She encouraged Americans to submit scientific ideas for potential stories.
But, weeks later, she was told she would not take on the role.
In an email seen by the Boston Globe, she said she had “worked tirelessly” as a broadcaster and reporter throughout her two-decade journalism career.
She said: “I was looking forward to returning to this role after eight years of exclusively raising my daughters.”
But, she was told she was not going to work for WGBH.
Bosses said it was a “personnel matter”, but Mish claimed her views as a private citizen had been “mispositioned”.
She repeated, “I never claimed I didn’t believe in vaccines.”
Mish died on March 16, a family spokesperson confirmed in a Facebook post.
The cause of death has not been revealed.
The message read: “It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Mish Michaels.
“Our family is devastated by her loss. She was a devoted mother, wife, daughter, aunt, friend and rider, as well as an award-winning meteorologist and environmental journalist.
“Mish had the ability to brighten up every room she walked into. Her professional success was monumental, but so was her commitment to helping others through her philanthropic work.”
Dozens of tributes were paid to Mish by journalists and fans online.
One fan said, “Back in college, Mish Michaels hosted a few college girls at a special adult science forum, myself included, to encourage women to get into STEM/STEAM jobs.
“I remember her fondly. Rest in peace.”
WBZ-TV weather executive producer Terry Eliasen said, “For those who didn’t know her, I think I can’t describe how incredibly brilliant she was. For those who have, you know… there are just no words.
“Mish was so many things to so many people. A brilliant meteorologist. A dear friend.
“A loving wife and mother. She was one of those rare human beings who excelled in everything they did. Most knew her from her many years on television in Boston.
News producer Tyler Simpson commented: “Very saddened to learn of the passing of longtime Boston weatherman Mish Michaels.
“I had the privilege of learning from her at a camp my senior year of high school.”
And NBC correspondent Chris Pollone said: “Mish Michaels was easily one of Boston’s most popular TV personalities of the 90s and early 2000s.
“It was a pleasure to see her appear on the Weather Channel during the January blizzard. My condolences to all who knew her.”
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