Kirstie Zontini

I am thrilled wake up early to be a part of the Storm Center 7 team as the morning meteorologist for Channel 7 and AM 1290/News 95.7 WHIO radio. Growing up in Cleveland, I was exposed to all that Ohio weather has to offer from strong storms to lake-effect snow. It made me curious at a young age to learn why we see the weather we see. That urge to challenge myself and find the answers is something I continue to work towards in each forecast. I graduated from Ohio University with a degree in Broadcast News and a Meteorology specialization. I also completed Mississippi State University’s Broadcast Meteorology Certificate Program and then continued my education further to finish a degree in Geosciences with a concentration in Broadcast and Operational Meteorology. I am a member of the National Weather Association. In 2017, I am proud to say that I took home an Ohio Valley Regional Emmy award for my work on our team’s severe weather special, “Surviving the Storm.” We also took home a second place award for that same special in the “best documentary” category from the Society of Professional Journalists. Right after graduation I accepted a job in Youngstown, Ohio at WKBN/WYTV as a weekend meteorologist and weekday video journalist. Forecasting for a region greatly influenced by Lake Erie was a wonderful challenge and helped me grow professionally. Between severe weather season and lake-effect snow in the winter, there was never a dull moment. If I’m not in the weather center I am probably outside enjoying the day or looking for a new restaurant to try.    Where were you born? Illinois Where did you grow up? Eastlake, Ohio  What was your favorite TV show then? Rugrats What was the first thing you ever wanted to be?  A singer and I have plenty of embarrassing home videos when I was young to prove it.   How might someone have described you in high school?  I think they would say I was friendly and motivated.  I liked to challenge myself so I did everything from taking AP Biology to singing in our show choir.  I made a lot of great friends through the years.   Were you involved in any high school sports?  I played fast pitch softball and was a cheerleader.   What was your first journalism job? My first paid job was in Youngstown, Ohio at WKBN/WYTV as a weekend meteorologist and weekday video journalist.  Northeast Ohio is a challenging part of the state to forecast for with everything from lake-effect snow to severe weather.  First experience ever on-air was doing weather for our nightly newscast on the PBS-affiliate WOUB at Ohio University.   What do you like about your job? I am never bored.  Each day brings a unique challenge to the forecast and that’s exciting to me.   What don’t you like about your job? You don’t always get to sleep as much as you’d like, especially during severe weather season, but the good out weighs the bad.  If not working, what could someone find you doing on a weekend on your time off? Trying to cook something or taking a walk.  I love being outside.   What might people be surprised to know about you? I went zip-lining and loved it!   What would be a perfect day for you? Taking a hike on a beautiful fall day then enjoying a new restaurant for dinner.  I’m not a picky eater at all so I love finding new places to try.   What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a Meteorologist? Make sure it is what you really want to do because weather becomes a huge part of your life.  If you’re passionate about what you’re doing long hours won’t matter.   Favorites Favorite book:  The Great Gatsby  Favorite CBS show:  How I Met Your Mother Favorite food:  Italian, especially pizza Favorite hobby:  Cooking Favorite movie:  She’s the Man  Favorite music: Rock  Favorite travel destination:  Chicago.  I go every year with my mom and it’s the highlight of my summer.  

Latest from Kirstie Zontini

Mercury visible in the evening sky 
 During evening hours now through March, you might be able to spot a planet shining bright! Mercury is visible in the evening sky. Head outside, especially on a clear night, and look west, close to the horizon. You should see the planet shining bright, but not twinkling like a star does. If you are lucky enough to find it over the next...

Posted: 3 days ago

During evening hours now through March, you might be able to spot a planet shining bright! Mercury is visible in the evening sky. Head outside, especially on a clear night, and look west, close to the horizon. You should see the planet shining bright, but not twinkling like a star does. If you are lucky enough to find it over the next...
How can strong winds impact trees and power outages?
 A healthy tree can usually withstand strong winds up to a certain degree, but when you add prolonged heavy rain — which can saturate the soil — it becomes a different story. The water saturating the soil of trees weakens the root system. If it isn’t windy, the threat for tree damage stays low, but if winds pick up this could...

Posted: 6 days ago

A healthy tree can usually withstand strong winds up to a certain degree, but when you add prolonged heavy rain — which can saturate the soil — it becomes a different story. The water saturating the soil of trees weakens the root system. If it isn’t windy, the threat for tree damage stays low, but if winds pick up this could...
Today’s weather impact: Flooding and strong storms
 After a very wet Wednesday, which broke a record for rainfall at the Dayton International Airport, today will be even more active. Heavy rain, gusty winds and even an isolated severe storm will be possible heading into the afternoon and evening. Flood Warning issued for Champaign, Clark, Logan, Miami and Shelby counties until 8 p.m. Flash...

Posted: 11 days ago

After a very wet Wednesday, which broke a record for rainfall at the Dayton International Airport, today will be even more active. Heavy rain, gusty winds and even an isolated severe storm will be possible heading into the afternoon and evening. Flood Warning issued for Champaign, Clark, Logan, Miami and Shelby counties until 8 p.m. Flash...
Wet weather and thaw coming for mid-week
 After the coldest morning since January 2018 on Monday, a quick system will swing through mid-week to bring rain, slightly warmer temperatures and the chance for some minor flooding. Tuesday temperatures will climb into the mid to upper 30s for the afternoon, allowing the several inches of snow on the ground to begin melting.   ...

Posted: 27 days ago

After the coldest morning since January 2018 on Monday, a quick system will swing through mid-week to bring rain, slightly warmer temperatures and the chance for some minor flooding. Tuesday temperatures will climb into the mid to upper 30s for the afternoon, allowing the several inches of snow on the ground to begin melting.   ...
Mark your calendar for these 2019 meteor showers
 There are plenty of meteor showers to enjoy this year, reports Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Mark your calendars and keep checking in for the latest forecast.   Lyrids: Active April 16-28. Rates are usually 10-20 meteors per hour. A dark sky is expected. This meteor shower is associated with fireballs which are very...

8:19 AM Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2019

There are plenty of meteor showers to enjoy this year, reports Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini. Mark your calendars and keep checking in for the latest forecast.   Lyrids: Active April 16-28. Rates are usually 10-20 meteors per hour. A dark sky is expected. This meteor shower is associated with fireballs which are very...
Super Blood Wolf Moon? Mark your calendars for a lunar eclipse
 You may have heard of the Super Blood Wolf Moon already and we wanted to explain what all this means to you. Let's break it down word for word...  Super: A "supermoon" occurs when a moon becomes full around the same time it is closest to Earth during its orbit. This moon is "super" because it appears slightly larger...

12:03 AM Thursday, Jan. 03, 2019

You may have heard of the Super Blood Wolf Moon already and we wanted to explain what all this means to you. Let's break it down word for word...  Super: A "supermoon" occurs when a moon becomes full around the same time it is closest to Earth during its orbit. This moon is "super" because it appears slightly larger...
Record cold, tornadoes, floods: Looking back at the weather of 2018
 Can you believe another year has passed? Now’s the time of year when many feel nostalgic. A time to reflect on the past and wonder what the future may hold. Throughout this article I’ll take you back to 2018 and remind you of five significant events that occurred in the Miami Valley then give you a little taste of what’s...

6:19 PM Monday, Dec. 31, 2018

Can you believe another year has passed? Now’s the time of year when many feel nostalgic. A time to reflect on the past and wonder what the future may hold. Throughout this article I’ll take you back to 2018 and remind you of five significant events that occurred in the Miami Valley then give you a little taste of what’s...
Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast: Snowstorm in the Southeast
 Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast is back and Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini and Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs are talking about a snowstorm ... but not in Ohio. A few weeks ago, a snowstorm affected the southeastern United States from the Carolinas up through Virginia.  They sat down with morning meteorologist Keith Monday from WSOC-TV...

3:56 PM Friday, Dec. 21, 2018

Cloudy with a Chance of Podcast is back and Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini and Chief Meteorologist McCall Vrydaghs are talking about a snowstorm ... but not in Ohio. A few weeks ago, a snowstorm affected the southeastern United States from the Carolinas up through Virginia.  They sat down with morning meteorologist Keith Monday from WSOC-TV...
Hurricane Florence makes top list for Google 2018 searches
 Hurricane Florence was the second most searched phrase on Google for 2018. Florence was the first major hurricane of 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and became a Cat 4 between September 4-5. Hurricane Irma was number one on google for 2017.  Florence made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina in the morning of September 14. This...

5:58 PM Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

Hurricane Florence was the second most searched phrase on Google for 2018. Florence was the first major hurricane of 2018 Atlantic hurricane season and became a Cat 4 between September 4-5. Hurricane Irma was number one on google for 2017.  Florence made landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina in the morning of September 14. This...
Geminid meteor shower: Peak viewing time tonight
 The Geminids is an active meteor shower to enjoy in December. This year, the moon won’t interrupt your view, but cloud cover might make it a challenge to get a good look at the meteors produced when Earth passes through the debris of 3200 Phaethon.  The night of Dec. 13 into the early morning of Dec. 14 will be your best chance...

11:00 PM Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018

The Geminids is an active meteor shower to enjoy in December. This year, the moon won’t interrupt your view, but cloud cover might make it a challenge to get a good look at the meteors produced when Earth passes through the debris of 3200 Phaethon.  The night of Dec. 13 into the early morning of Dec. 14 will be your best chance...
Venus shines bright in December in the Miami Valley 
 Have you noticed a very bright looking star before sunrise this month? Venus, one of the most visible planets, has joined the early morning sky in the Miami Valley. Venus is actually now the third brightest object in our sky following the sun and the moon. If you wake up early, it will be hard to miss this bright planet, especially on a clear...

9:02 AM Monday, Dec. 10, 2018

Have you noticed a very bright looking star before sunrise this month? Venus, one of the most visible planets, has joined the early morning sky in the Miami Valley. Venus is actually now the third brightest object in our sky following the sun and the moon. If you wake up early, it will be hard to miss this bright planet, especially on a clear...