105.7 The Hog would like to wish our meteorologist Steve Norris a very happy 61st birthday today! (Sunday, January 19, 2020)
The dictionary defines the word “icon” as a representation of something, a person or thing that is symbolic or is a noted figure. No word can better describe meteorologist Steve Norris. Steve is well into his 40th year of forecasting the at-times tricky weather on the Cumberland Plateau from his office at the Native Stone Museum at the corner of Main Street and East Second Street in Crossville.
“This has been a dream of mine to have an office on Main Street,” said Norris. “I remember when there were bad storms here when I was a kid. My family and I got into the car to get away from our mobile home and drive to Main Street to see and wait out the storms. There is where I developed a love and passion for weather.”
Steve started forecasting weather as a senior in high school in Crossville in the 1970s. “My teacher would let me out of class early to be able to do the weather. Everyone seemed to enjoy hearing it.”
Norris has seen all types of weather events and temperatures he thought would not be seen in Crossville. “I remember when the high temperature hit 104 in 2012 and dipped down to -25 in 1985. Also, the blizzard of 1993 was a milestone event, as well as the hailstorm of 1990. That storm dropped baseball-size hail and left widespread damage in Crossville and Cumberland County, including something special to Steve. “It broke my unbreakable rain gauge,” Norris said with a chuckle. Steve also cited several tornadoes that hit Cumberland County in his recall over the past four decades. From 1957 to 2015, weather officials say 18 tornadoes hit Cumberland County. The worst was November 10, 2002, which left four dead and injured 18 in the Lake Tansi area.
No matter what the weather is, Steve is always watching and keeping the many who depend on his forecasts informed. Steve is at his new office every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday in the afternoon to do the weather, and to have the museum open for visitors. “I am there pretty much every day recording the weather forecasts, but those three days I get a chance to meet people here and tourists as well,” said Norris. “I am always here during any watches or warnings issued.”
Steve was born with MD, a muscular debilitating disease that has kept him confined to a wheel chair his entire life. But his physical challenges have never even slowed him down on getting the weather information out to listeners.
So the next time you’re on Main Street and pass by the Native Stone Museum, be sure to either wave at Steve or drop by and talk with him. You will leave with a greater understanding of not only the weather on the plateau but the history of Cumberland County as well.