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Lauren Whitney Watching the Force of Mother Nature

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When it comes to forecasting the local weather here in Denver, two words come to mind: Lauren Whitney. As a meteorologist for KCNCTV (CBS4) in Denver, Lauren is the perfect person for the job, basically because she is just so cool, and she is far from a fair weather fan of her career, her passions and her city. While perhaps she didn’t forecast such an amazing career for herself when she was first considering what to do with her life, it seems that most everywhere she goes, she brings a lot of sunshine to others. Naturally intelligent and driven, Lauren often had to learn her craft by the seat of her pants but there is something dynamic, engaging and appealing about her presence that makes watching her deliver her forecasts just plain fun.

Born in Minnesota but raised in Phoenix, Arizona, Lauren graduated from Arizona State University in 2007. She honed her skills in the media world with a collegiate internship, working in the public relations department for the Major League Baseball Team the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“That was a great opportunity and such a fun time,” she recalled. “I met several sports broadcasters and baseball legends and by my second year I was an in-game host.”

Being thrown into the spotlight at such a relatively young age, while she was admittedly green behind the ears, was intimidating initially, but Lauren realized she would quickly have to overcome any anxieties about being in the public eye.

“When you are on camera in front of nearly 40,000 people, you get over the fear quickly!” she laughed.

Her first job in television news was with KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado, where she was the morning anchor and the weather person. Lauren refers to this particular job as her first “real” job.

“I told myself I had to do it now,” she recalled. “The weather aspect of it somewhat intimidated me, as it involved more than just going outside and reporting that, yes, it is sunny.”

It was during her four years at KKCO that she intensely developed her weather forecasting skills.

“My last 18 months at the station my focus was only on the weather,” she noted. “I also knew that as a career person in a smaller market, it was time for me to move on.”

Inspired by a friend to apply for an opening at KCNC in late summer of 2011, Lauren hesitated at first but then took the plunge. Within six weeks of her application, she landed the job, and to this day she marvels over how she could have possibly stood out among the other applicants.

“I look back at some of those old tapes of myself and just scratch
my head,” she jokingly confessed in her natural self-effacing manner.

However, confident in her skill set and in her ability to learn quickly, she knew she was always up to the challenge.

“I knew I had to fake it til I made it,” she smiled. “I tried hard and put my nervousness to good use. Because of that experience, I feel I can take on most anything now.”

In order to grow within the field of meteorology, Lauren has been working on her B.S. degree in Operational Meteorology through online classes at Mississippi State University and is set to complete her studies this month. In addition to her weather forecasts, Lauren also presents all of the stories about the local art museums. (Perhaps this helps her paint a good picture for the daily weather?)

While forecasting the weather can produce some rather frustrating days, Lauren is continually motivated by its inherent beauty.

“I have always loved Mother Nature,” she reflected. “It is such a controlling force. I enjoy watching storms, actually, as they are so beautiful. Even when I was a kid, I found weather phenomena to be so fascinating. I have since learned that so much happens to make a thunderstorm, and it’s more beautiful than you would imagine.”

Yes, Lauren has received some complaints over the years about her weather forecasting, not so much in her skill set or delivery, but in her actual forecasts.

“This is not an exact science,” she cautioned. “You can’t get a good forecast more than three or four days out. Mother Natural is powerful, and we can only give our best estimate.”

Now that Lauren has truly made a name for herself in the Denver market, she is putting that celebrity to good use and has recently become the face of a highly popular event called Girls and Science, a new initiative that brought more than 11,000 young girls and their families and teachers to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science in March. At this event, numerous women with careers in the sciences were on hand to meet with these young girls to encourage them to be the voices of the next generation of leaders within the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) arenas. Because of its success, other CBS-owned stations in the country are planning to adopt this program in their specific markets. As a positive female role model in a science trade, Lauren could not be happier about the outcome of this event.

“This is a way we can show girls that they can be what they want to be. They can still be girls but also succeed in the sciences,” she expressed. “We let them know it is okay to like makeup and look nice, but at the same time they can also pursue careers in the sciences.”

Lauren also enjoys giving back to the community in many other ways and has been a part of the Junior League for four years and currently serves on its Holiday Mart committee.

“I enjoy doing things outside of my career,” she said. “It’s fun to be involved and to pursue amazing goals while helping others. It’s important to me to be active within my community and giving back in whatever ways I can.”

When not caught up in all things weather-related, Lauren loves to be outdoors, whether that means doing a bit of snowboarding or strapping on some hiking boots and hitting some local trails. She also enjoys losing herself in the pages of a good suspense novel and is inclined to read most anything on the best sellers list, if anything, just to be a part of the conversation.

Vacation time is a must, as well, and among her go-to destinations is anyplace that allows her to soak up the sun and dig her toes into the sand.

“I love the beach,” she smiled, and lately admits to dreaming of Hawaii. And while Phoenix is where her family resides and will always have a part of her heart, she has grown to love her new hometown with just as much passion.

“I love Denver so much,” emphasized Lauren. “I truly care about this city and have invested myself here. It’s a great and giving community.” HLM

To learn more about Lauren and the rest of the KCNC-TV team, go online at