This month, we caught up with ABC8 News meteorologist Matt DiNardo. This broadcast weather expert, husband, and father was born and raised in Long Island, New York. Today, he’s at the weather desk every morning and also hosts Showcase Richmond, a community spotlight segment which airs a few times during the day and on weekends on WRIC-TV.
Although Matt will tell you he’s a “genuine heat freak,” as a young boy it was the New England blizzard of 1978 that first piqued his interest in weather when it laid a twenty-nine inch blanket of snow over his hometown. But it was another extreme weather event, Hurricane Gloria in 1985, that sealed the deal for Matt.
“The eye of the storm crossed the central part of Long Island and it was the most amazing thing I had ever seen,” Matt recalls. “I was outside for the entire duration of the storm, as it hit during the day. Trees and power lines were coming down and my mom was yelling to come inside, but I wasn’t listening.”
Before joining 8News in 2004, Matt was chief meteorologist at a Utica, New York station for eleven years. Despite his tenure in the field, Matt says what he likes most about his chosen career is that every day is different. “Everyone wants to know, ‘What’s coming next?’ And In Richmond,” he adds, “from sunshine, to rain, to severe thunderstorms, or hurricanes and snow, weather is fun and challenging.”
Matt and his wife, Darlene, have been married just over thirteen years. Their daughter Alexandra is ten. About achieving family and career balance, Matt’s approach is remarkably similar to his outlook on weather. “It’s a swinging pendulum,” says Matt. “What works one day will not or may not work a week later. You have to be ready to adjust daily. Life changes fast, especially with children.”
Staying flexible is also important when supporting community outreach is a priority. Annually, Matt designates time for two important causes in Richmond: The Puritan Cleaner’s 100,000 Meals Campaign and
the American Cancer Society’s Cure by Design.
Keep reading to learn more fun facts about one of Richmond’s most popular (and generous) meteorologists – Matt DiNardo.
Mountains or beach?
I appreciate the beauty of the mountains, but having grown up on Long Island, and spending many days and weekends on Fire Island, the Hamptons, and Montauk, the beach will always win out for me.
Dogs or cats?
Dogs have always been part of my family growing up. In the past twenty years I have had two golden retrievers, which I rescued. Muffin and Nikko, and they lived to fifteen and fourteen respectively. I miss them every day.
What book is on your
nightstand right now?
It’s actually a book that a viewer gave me about Alzheimer’s disease. It’s such a sad and debilitating disease.
If you were stranded on a
desert island, what food would
you want to grow on trees?
Manicotti! I am of Italian heritage – and you have your wheat, dairy, and fruit (tomato sauce, right?) all in one. I am good with that.
Same island – what’s the one tech
gadget you would want with you?
I know I would not want a cell phone, tablet, laptop. I would want to be completely disconnected. I think my electronic toothbrush.
What’s the last live performance – musical, play, or concert – you
attended in Richmond?
My wife and I saw Wicked, when it came back this year. Loved it! Before that, it was Jersey Boys, another fantastic show.
What’s the festival or annual event
your family wouldn’t miss in RVA?
This one will surprise some, but without question, NASCAR at RIR! I first went in 2006 and I am hooked. It’s riveting – the sound, the speed, the people-watching. I go to both the spring and fall races and I am always in awe.
What is your favorite way
to spend a rainy Sunday?
Okay, I can’t lie. There is nothing better than laying on the couch on a rainy day, especially when every day of the week, I get up at two in the morning. But my wife will tell you, I can’t sit still, so that day on the couch may be only ten minutes until
I think of things to do around the house.
What is your favorite vacation spot?
This goes directly back to the first question – the beach! So whether it’s traveling to an island or going to the Outer Banks, Sandbridge, or the Delaware shore, nothing beats the beach.
What is your energy source?
I am naturally up. I wake up and I am ready to go. That is always the big question though from viewers, “How are you so awake when I tune in at four-thirty in the morning? You must drink tons of coffee!” While the truth is, yes, I get a coffee every morning, I only start sipping it right when we go on the air.
Favorite family day outing?
In summer, that’s easy – if we can’t get to the beach, then a day at the pool is fine by me. I enjoy the sun, playing with my daughter in the pool. It’s all good.
Finish this sentence:
“My family loves it when I…
Just act like a fool. I make funny faces, talk in strange ways, and just make them laugh. It comes out of nowhere and it’s
just about having a good time and making others in my family laugh and smile.”
Readers will be surprised to know…
I am very humbled every time I hear a viewer say, “I wake up to you every morning!” or “I watch you all the time.” Those are very powerful words. You have a choice to wake up and listen to radio, watch so many dozens of TV channels, and you choose me – and my forecast. That is an amazing feeling from where I sit. So, I want my viewers to feel like they know me and I want to know them. It is probably why I am very open and honest on the air about my life and my family life.