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Jim Barach photo As the most experienced and certainly most traveled meteorologist in the region, I arrived here in 2005 more than ready to take on the challenges of forecasting for the Tri-State area.

Shortly after moving to Charleston, I became only the 75th person in the nation to be awarded the prestigious title of "Certified Broadcast Meteorologist". This goes along with my also holding the AMS and the National Weather Association Broadcast Seals of Approval, making me one of the few in the country to have all three. I hold a Bachelor of Science degree in Geoscience with an emphasis in Meteorology from Mississippi State University.

My last stop before here was in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Other markets where I have forecast the weather include Syracuse, NY; Orlando, FL; Wichita, KS; Santa Maria, CA; Medford, OR and Farmington, NM. I told you I was well traveled! I have been on the air during hurricanes, tornadoes and even a tsunami warning. That experience helps to make sure I give you the most accurate and reliable forecast every day.

In 2007 I received a double honor, being given the title of "Best Forecast" by both the West Virginia Association of Broadcasters and the Associated Press. I was proud to win both awards after being here less than two years. In 2008 I was again awarded the "Best Forecast" by the Associated Press. As Chief Meteorologist, I talk with fellow Storm Team members Doug Harlow and Steve Borecky every day. That means each forecast has input from at least two of us. All of our forecasts are generated in house. We won't let some out of state business do our job for us. When you watch the Eyewitness Storm Team, you know that we really mean what we say!

I love living in West Virginia, one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. I really admire the down to earth West Virginian lifestyle, as I try to lead a modest way of life myself. To give an example, I bought my first new car, a Camaro in 1988. More than two decades and 200,000 miles later, I am still driving it, rust and all. I was born and raised in Los Angeles, but had many peripheral connections with West Virginia. As a Lakers fan, Chelyan's Jerry West was my idol, and I would listen to him play on the radio with commentary from Charleston's Hot Rod Hundley. TV icon Don Knotts from Morgantown lived right up the road from me, and one of my favorite places, the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens was the home of Henry Huntington, nephew of Collis Huntington, the namesake of Huntington West Virginia!

I married my beautiful wife, Karen in 1994, and we were blessed with the arrival of our daughter, Summer in 1999. I love spending time with them and enjoying our house in the historic Edgewood area of Charleston. In my spare time I enjoy writing topical humor and have done so professionally. I have my own weblog which is used by newspapers and radio personalities across the country, and I also like to try to slip some humor into my weathercasts. I enjoy playing guitar as well as golf and tennis. I believe in healthy living, and that includes a vigorous workout of jumping rope 4,000 reps a day, six days a week. That adds up to more than 1.2 million jumps a year! I have also been a member of Mensa, the high I.Q. society since 1980.

I believe in giving back to the community. My wife and I do charitable work for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, I make several appearances at local schools and events each year, and serve as an adjunct professor at West Virginia State University, teaching courses in meteorology.

If you see me around town, please come up and introduce yourself. I love to meet our viewers wherever I am. Check out our website for all your weather needs.

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WCHS ABC 8 provides local news, weather forecasts, traffic updates, notices of events and items of interest in the community, sports and entertainment programming for Charleston and nearby towns and communities in the Tri-State area, including Huntington, Dunbar, Marmet, Montgomery, Nitro, South Charleston, St. Albans, Cedar Grove, Chesapeake, Clendenin, East Bank, Glasgow, Pratt, Cross Lanes, Elkview, Pinch, Sissonville, Big Chimney, Cabin Creek, Chelyan, Davis Creek, Institute, Jefferson, Loudendale, Mink Shoals, Pocatalico, Quick, Quincy, Rand, Buffalo, Eleanor, Hurricane, Nitro, Poca, Winfield, Culloden, Fraziers Bottom, Hometown, Red House, Scott Depot, Teays Valley, Danville, Madison, Hamlin, Logan, Chapmanville, Man, Delbarton, Kermit, Gilbert, Matewan, Williamson, Summersville, Richwood, Flatwoods, Gassaway, Sutton, Spencer, Ravenswood, Ripley, Mason, Point Pleasant, Ashland, Pikeville, Ironton, Portsmouth, Gallipolis, and Athens.