Derek Kinkade joined Storm Team 9 in July 2006 and became Chief Meteorologist in 2011. His hometown is Rainbow City, AL, in the northeast part of the state. He is a summa cum laude graduate from Mississippi State University with a degree in Geosciences with a concentration in Broadcast Meteorology and minor in Communications. Derek holds the American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval, and the National Weather Association Seal of Approval. He is the only meteorologist in the Columbus television market with both. During his senior year in college, he worked the weekend weather shift at WTOK, the ABC affiliate in Meridian, MS. His first day on television involved wall-to-wall coverage of Hurricane Ivan's landfall – a heck of a way to be broken into the business! After that, he spent a year at WMGT in Macon, GA working the morning show weather duties before joining Storm Team 9. Derek has had a passion for weather ever since he was four years old and has experienced several severe weather events in his life that have kept up his interest in the weather, including the Blizzard of 1993 and more tornado outbreaks than he can count. Derek also has a passion for visiting schools and teaching kids the importance of severe weather safety. He has crisscrossed the WTVM coverage area many times speaking to kids through the years, and always enjoys a stop at a local restaurant along the way! He says this is one of the best parts of the job! When not keeping an eye to the sky, Derek enjoys watching college football (Roll Tide!), hanging out with friends and family, and traveling. He is married to Taylor Kinkade, a former reporter at WTVM. They welcomed a little boy into the world, Jackson, in January 2015. Jackson joins Johnny and June, a dachshund and chi-weenie, in the Kinkade house!