Aaron Mentkowski

Aaron Mentkowski is the CBM-certified meteorologist for "Eyewitness News" @ 5, 5:30, 6 & 11pm. Aaron joined the Eyewitness News team as a meteorologist in March, 2000. He is the first - and only - broadcast meteorologist in Buffalo, and the 35th in the country, to earn a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation from the American Meteorological Society. The CBM designation is a mark of distinction and recognition.

The Lockport native grew up in North Tonawanda and, for as long as he can remember, has been fascinated with weather. Growing up in Western New York meant he saw his share of snow storms - and his passion for weather prompted him to pursue a career in meteorology. After graduating from North Tonawanda High School, he attended the University of Buffalo and went on to SUNY Oswego, where he studied Lake Effect Snow patterns and earned a BS in Meteorology.

In his spare time Aaron enjoys playing soccer and ice hockey, and is a First Degree Black Belt in Kenpo Karate. Aaron and his wife Sharon are the proud parents of three young boys.

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Tough Mudder Training Blog #1

Less than 5 weeks and I’ll be taking part in my first Tough Mudder. For those of you who don’t know the Tough Mudder is “a 10-12 mile (18-20 km) obstacle course designed to test all-around strength, stamina, teamwork, and mental grit. Tough Mudder is Probably the Toughest Event on the Planet. Probably.”

I love a challenge and this seems like something that is perfect for me. I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors and getting muddy, and this way I can do it for a good cause. The Tough Mudder is a supporter of the Wounded Warrior Project.

Right now my team has 4 guys who are getting ready for the big day. I started jogging about a month ago and my first jog was laughable. I barely made a mile, had to stop once because my knee hurt and I was breathing heavily. The mile took a little more than 10 minutes. I never liked running, but since this obstacle course is 10-12 miles I know I have to keep going. I started very poorly with my running but I’ve steadily improved in the last month. I got a running app and that has made a huge difference. It’s like having a coach running with you. I just ran 3.2 miles and did it in 30 minutes. Knee didn’t hurt and I felt great. Tomorrow I am going for 5 miles which a month ago seemed so out of reach. I’ll let you know if I make it!
As someone who is on tv I do receive a lot of e-mails from viewers. The e-mails are usually very positive but every so often I get the occasional "what is up with that tie" or some other form of constructive criticism.
During the blizzard I received this e-mail:
Why are you outside, we know it's COLD.

During the blizzard it was extremely cold, coldest I can remember. I don't mind at all though. I love being outside and I would never change how we do the weather. I felt like a little kid who just had school cancelled while I was out there forecasting the weather for you. I have always admired mother nature and the fury she can bring. I think Lake Effect Snow is the most amazing thing and I was thrilled to be standing in it. During the next blizzard you'll find me outside and that's exactly where I like to be.

You will often see reporters or meteorologist standing along the Lake Erie shore when the weather gets dicey. You may even here them say "I have never seen it like this on the lake". No matter how bad it gets nothing compares to what happened 100 years ago today.

November 7, 1913, the most devastating storm ever to impact the Great Lakes began. This storm produced hurricane force winds and is historically referred to as the "White Hurricane". 250 people were killed in this storm and a dozen ships sank. 4 out of the 5 Great Lakes, excluding Lake Ontario, saw a ship capsize with Lake Huron experiencing the most devastation.

Winds during the storm peaked at 90 mph with a peak gust in Buffalo of 80 mph. Waves topped out at over 35 feet. 100 years ago weather forecasting was not as accurate as it is now and a lot of the ships captains ignored the weather warnings that were posted.

This storm caused 5 million dollars of damage which is close to 120 million dollars today.

Of the 12 ships that sank in the storm 4 have still never been found.

To read more about this storm and to see some amazing pictures and animations go to this website:

http://www.regions.noaa.gov/great-lakes/centennial_anniversary_storm_of_1913/

My wife and I bought our house right after our wedding in October, 1999. This summer we decided to take the plunge and move to a new home.

My wife and I bought our house right after our wedding in October, 1999. This summer we decided to take the plunge and move to a new home. We had our home for more than 13 years. I can't believe how fast that time went. I guess that's what happens when you have kids. We both loved the house but we bought it as newlyweds and now with 3 boys we needed a little more space. Our boys are now 12, 10 and 3 and they have never experienced a Bills playoff game, but that will be for a different blog!
We put the home up for sale and purchased a new one just in time for the new school year. Never would I imagine how much stuff a family of 5 could accumulate in 13 years. We didn't move far so I thought the move would be "easy". Boy was on wrong on that one. We were in the last house for 13 years and I'm hoping to be in this new one for at least that. No matter what happens during our next move I am hiring movers for everything.
It's hard to believe but I started at Channel 7 in March, 2000. I have been working and living in Buffalo now for almost 14 years. I started as the weekend meteorologist and then moved to the morning show in October of 2001. I remember because my oldest son was just born and not only did we have a newborn but now I had to wake up at 3 a.m. to go work.
It never bothered me though, I worked hard to get there and I knew coming in that the television industry does not have any pleasant shifts. I tell all my interns the weather doesn't take Christmas or Thanksgiving or your Birthday off, so be ready.
My first Intern was Autumn Lewandowski who interned with me about 10 years ago. She ended up getting a job at the same station I did when I started in the business. She worked her way back to Buffalo landing at Channel 2 and now we are glad to have her at 7. Following Autumn was Jessica McClaughlin who spent a few years in Iowa before coming back to Buffalo. Three other interns of mine are working in tv weather and I am so proud of all of them. One is in Kansas, the other in Montana, and the third is in Ohio. I have enjoyed mentoring people who also love weather like I do and I hope they all have long careers doing what they love.
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