Derek Kinkade joined Storm Team 9 in July of 2006. His hometown is Rainbow City, Alabama, in the northeast part of the state.
He graduated from Mississippi State University with a degree in Geosciences with a concentration in Broadcast Meteorology and minor in Communications in May of 2005.
During his senior year in college, he also worked weekends at WTOK, the ABC affiliate in Meridian, Mississippi. 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, Georgia before joining Storm Team 9.
Derek has had a passion for weather ever since he was 4 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. You may also find him as a substitute teacher on his off days!
When not keeping an eye to the sky, Derek enjoys watching college football (Roll Tide!), hanging out with friends and family, and traveling.
He also enjoys playing in the adult kickball league in Columbus, bowling, and Putt-Putt golf.
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 seals of approval.
What was your very first job?
My first job was as a math tutor at my high school. I was paid $7 an hour, but found that I really enjoyed teaching others. In college, I did the weather at the ABC affiliate in Meridian, Mississippi on the weekends. My first day on air was part of extended coverage of Hurricane Ivan's landfall. What a way to get broken in!
If you had to be stranded on a desert island with just one other WTVM employee, who would it be and why?
This depends on just how deserted this island is. There are plenty of people at work that are around my same age, so it would be great to spend that time with people like Taylor Barnhill or Andrew Wittenberg to name a few.
What is your favorite movie and why?
Hmm, lots to pick from, but I would probably have to say The Shawshank Redemption. You really get to know the characters, and of course it has one of the best (and most fulfilling) endings in movie history
The thing about you that would surprise people the most is....
I'm an avid bowler, with a high game of 279 and when I was in high school I used to average close to 190 a game.