WFLA hires Jeff Berardelli as new chief meteorologist

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Starting January 15, a new, but familiar face will guide storm coverage for WFLA-TV, Ch. 8. The station has appointed Jeff Berardelli as the chief meteorologist for its Max Defender 8 weather team.

Berardelli succeeds beloved chief meteorologist Steve Jerve, who retired in August after four decades at the station. Meteorologist Rebecca Barry had replaced Jerve in the meantime.

While Berardelli’s most recent post was reporting on the climate as a CBS New York meteorologist, he has plenty of experience covering extreme weather conditions in Florida. According to a WFLA press release, Berardelli guided CBS News nationwide coverage during Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and Hurricane Michael in 2018. His resume includes stays in Miami and West Palm Beach, and from 1997 to 2003, he worked in the Tampa Bay market for Bay News 9 and WTSP-TV, Ch. Ten.

“This career has allowed me to live in different cities and gain valuable experience, but I have always dreamed of returning to the community where I feel most at home – the Tampa Bay area,” said Berardelli. in the press release. “Today, I am delighted to finally have the opportunity to take my experience home and help guide our News Channel 8 community through future hurricane seasons.”

According to WFLA, Berardelli received a BSc in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology from Cornell University and an MA in Climate from Columbia University. He will be returning to the Tampa Bay area earlier this year, accompanied by his wife Christy and their newborn daughter, Grace.

“As a new dad, my wife and I look forward to raising our newborn daughter in Tampa,” Berardelli said. “And as an avid fisherman, boater and diver, I can’t wait to get back on the water.”


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