Having always had a passion for meteorology, Bobby Johnston is now living it with a positive and determined outlook on life.
Johnston, a meteorologist for Fox 34 (KJTV) station in Lubbock, grew up in the small town of Smyer, Texas, which sits between Lubbock and Levelland. He attended high school there before going to South Plains College.
“Weather has always been something I’ve had a passion for and has always been important to me,” Johnston said. “It took me a while to figure out that I wanted to be a meteorologist. But once I started going to school for it, everything started working out to know that I wanted to be a meteorologist.”
Johnston attended South Plains College from August 2006 to May 2009. He said that he had a great experience at SPC, explaining that it was the right fit for him after high school since Smyer was a small school.
“The college offered classes that I loved for a cheaper price than a normal university…,” said Johnston. “Smyer was a small school, so a small community college was a great start for me, and financial wise, because I paid for school on my own, it was a great choice.”
Johnston offers some advice for current students saying, “enjoy classes, enjoy communities around whatever campus you’re attending, study hard, make passing grades, listen to your instructors, and you will have a degree before you even know it.”
Johnston worked in a bank full time for six years while he was a full-time student at Mississippi State before he became a meteorologist. During his last semester, he quit working at the bank, graduated, then tried to find a job. Johnston has been working for two years at Fox34 and has been a morning meteorologist for eight months.
“The best part of the job is relying on computer models to give me a correct forecast for the viewers,” Johnston shared. “Just being on air and the aspect of the job is a blast. Keeping people safe during severe weather is always one of the aspects of the job that is not only fun, it can be challenging for certain aspects of people needing to be safe at a certain time and needing to know what to do in a certain situation.”
Johnston said he usually tries to learn more by watching other meteorologists do their job.
However, he added that he tries not to let it rule his life, since meteorology is always kind of with him.
“But when you’re off the clock, you need to be off the clock,” said Johnston. “You have to let things go at some point when you’re off of work.”
In Johnston’s spare time, he loves to build things and do wood working. He also likes to watch movies, and chase storms, which is a side hobby from his job of being a meteorologist, and spend time with his wife and two dogs, Jax and Charlie.
“I love watching storms develop and continue to progress through their stages,” Johnston explained, “being able to walk outside knowing what the cloud formation is, watching the storm develop, and watching it drop large hail or rain, or if it becomes tornadic.”
For students who want to become a meteorologist, Johnston shared some advice.
“Go to school, make it a passion,” said Johnston. “It’s something you want to do, not for making a lot of money, but keeping people safe, and do your internships at stations.”