Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has spent his entire life and career right here in southeast Michigan.
He was initially terrified by storms, but fear transitioned to fascination after his second grade teacher took him to the school library and pointed out a section of books about weather. The more Paul read about thunder and lightning, the more interested he became and, at the tender age of seven, he announced to his family that he was going to be a weatherman someday at Channel 4!
Paul studied meteorology at the University of Michigan Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science, an extra-challenging curriculum due to its location in the prestigious College of Engineering. During his sophomore year, WDIV meteorologist Mal Sillars selected Paul to be the first ever weather intern in station history. In the middle of his senior year, WDIV news director, Bob Warfield, took a chance on Paul and hired him to a part-time, off-camera position. Later that year, Paul added the on-air weekend meteorologist position at WJIM-TV (now WLNS-TV) in Lansing, and two years later he also earned the back-up meteorologist position at WKBD-TV when its Ten O’Clock News started.
By 1986, Paul was working on the air at all three television stations at the same time, and occasionally on two of those stations on the same day!
His passion for meteorology quickly earned him recognition among his peers, as Paul became one of the youngest meteorologists ever selected to serve on the American Meteorological Society’s Board of Broadcast Meteorology in 1987, and was named chairman in 1990. But it is Paul’s science and environmental reporting that has helped change the paradigm of broadcast meteorology.
Early in his career, Paul started pushing producers to let him work on science stories. Since that time, Paul has researched, written and produced eight half-hour documentaries for WDIV, as well as many science, historical and environmental stories. During this time, Paul kept preaching to his colleagues at conferences about the need to do more of the same type of work. Meanwhile, his work started earning Emmys and other awards, and even national attention when his documentary, “Forecast: Overlord,” the story about the weather’s impact on D-Day in World War II, was deemed so historically significant that it was added to the D-Day archives at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, the British Meteorological Archives, and the permanent collections of the Museums of Television and Radio History in New York and Chicago.
The American Meteorological Society (AMS) acknowledged in 2006 that broadcast meteorologists needed to evolve into overall “station scientists,” and selected Paul to chair its new Committee on the Station Scientist, a position he held for seven years. Paul led the AMS’ national campaign to encourage and enable broadcast meteorologists to add more science and environmental material to their broadcasts. In 2017, the AMS named Paul a Fellow of the Society, a very high honor in any professional scientific society. Paul is now one of only four meteorologists in the world ever to be named an AMS Fellow, Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, and Certified Consulting Meteorologist.
One of Paul's most important professional accomplishments occurred after discovering in 1997 that Michigan law did not require public schools to conduct tornado safety drills. Paul contacted a state legislator, who agreed and introduced legislation to amend state law to require tornado safety drills. Paul testified before the State House and Senate Education Committees about the tornado threat in Michigan, and later joined Governor John Engler when the "Gross Weather Bill" was signed into law.
Paul has been awarded nine Emmys by the Michigan Chapter of the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences, and his 2014 live, forty-five minute climate change webcast that aired on ClickOnDetroit.com earned a first place award from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.
A court qualified expert in meteorology, Paul also consults with the legal community in litigation involving meteorology, and has testified in nearly four dozen trials since 1986. Paul also follows the science of global warming very carefully, and frequently gives lectures to share the scientific truth about Earth’s changing climate. He is considered one of the nation’s leaders in communicating the scientific truth about climate change, without any political bias.
Paul’s hobbies include yard work, working out, softball, bowling, golf, and collecting old stamps, coins, maps and meteorology books.
Paul and his wife, Nancy, have two adult sons.
There are many ways to categorize a hurricane. The storm’s central pressure is one way. The height of its storm surge is another. How much rain it drops is another. And, of course, the strength of its wind is another.
Everybody wants to know where it’s going. More than any other aspect of a hurricane, the No. 1 thing people want to know is if the storm is headed their way. Some storms are relatively easy to forecast a track for.
When most people think about hurricanes, they think about the wind. But it’s the water that usually does the most damage. While torrential rain causes flash flooding, it’s the hurricane’s storm surge that can be particularly destructive.
We know all about hurricanes. These monster storms are sometimes the size of entire states, with widespread areas of destructive wind, storm surge, torrential rainfall, and flooding. But there are a lot of smaller-scale physics that go on inside these storms, and the biggest mystery to a lot of people is hurricane-spawned tornadoes.