Mark Elliot was born in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. For as long as he can remember, he has known that he wanted to be a Meteorologist. He was told that while growing up, he used to give his friends weather forecasts in the sandbox.
He credits a few big storms that knocked down trees outside his house when he was very young as sparking his interest in weather. This interest grew as he watched his dad fly into different locations across the country experiencing destructive weather as his job involved emergency preparedness for hospital systems. Mark wanted to know what he was getting himself into.
Being a self proclaimed weather geek, Mark got outside to enjoy the weather whenever possible. He’s constantly staring up at the clouds and loves to take photos, weather themed or otherwise. He can talk beer for hours, and can even show you how to derive the thermodynamic properties of the bubbles as they rise in the glass… see, weather geek.
You can always find him watching Rutgers Football games, and cheering on the Scarlet Knights whenever possible… Hoo-Rah Hoo-Rah, Rutgers Rah! Besides, you have to love the attitude that comes with being one of the few schools in history to TURN DOWN talks regarding an invitation to the Ivy League in order to keep the Land Grant/State University status.
Where are you from?
Berkeley Heights, NJ
Where did you go to college?
I got my undergrad at Rutgers University and double majored in Meteorology and Environmental Science Physics
What's your favorite season?
Summer! Some like it hot, and I'm one of those people. I love all the stuff that summer brings - long days, warm weather in the evenings to walk the dogs, pools, etc.
How long have you been with The Weather Channel?
I started at The Weather Channel in 2004.
What's your favorite weather memory?
Doing an early morning hike on the Great Wall of China and seeing the sunrise over the almost empty wall.
What is your most memorable/funniest on-camera moment?
I will always remember the big events. Covering the tornado in Birmingham and being the first to bring the social media photos on air. Being live on WWL radio the night before Katrina moved in. The intense snow during Winter Storm Jonas. But it's more fun to reminisce about the funny moments like making a co-anchor crack up during a story about ice balls on the great lakes, or when a camera error turned us into what appeared like floating heads for the viewers at home.
What would people be surprised to know about you?
Other than weather, I have a few other passions and they are extremely varied. I have starred in and directed several plays and musicals and really enjoy musical theater. I am a craft beer aficionado, and as of this writing (July 2016), I have had over 1800 distinct beers. I also know a ridiculous amount about The Muppets.
What sparked your passion for weather?
I, for as long as I can remember, have wanted to be within the field of meteorology. One of my oldest friends remembers me giving her weather forecasts in her sandbox in the backyard. A few big moments in my childhood may have sparked this including watching a tree fall in my backyard, a window breaking during a downburst at my elementary school and the Blizzard of 1996. My dad was also involved in Emergency Preparedness for the VA Hospital System and was sent in to big weather events to ensure the hospitals stayed operational. So when he was sent to Florida for Hurricane Andrew, North Dakota for the floods and other major events. I would obsessively watch The Weather Channel to see what he was getting himself into. I suppose I just never stopped.
If you could only have one piece of weather data what would you choose and why?
I would want Doppler Radar. What we can see about a storm without being anywhere near it is incredible with this technology. The amount and type of precipitation, the movement of that precipitation, other objects like debris that may be in the air can all be sensed by Doppler Radar.
What do you want to say to our fans?
Thank you for being a fan, and I get you! I understand your passion because I was, and am, a fan as well.