I am the morning meteorologist. I go on air at about 4:27 in the morning. Good Morning Indiana is the name of our morning newscast. We stay on air till about 7AM. After 7 we give news and weather updates during Good Morning America.
Is this a passion of yours, like how you’d get into this?
Oh yeah, I love weather. I’ve always loved weather. When I was a kid, I loved doing 2 things, taking pictures of clouds and I loved to pretend like I was a radio deejay. In my head I was the next Casey Kasem, I would countdown top songs and sing along. So, when I got a little older, I followed my dream and I started working in radio. I worked in radio for a long time, here locally at Hot 963 and Smooth Jazz station 100.9. I did the whole radio thing but I was still very interested in weather. I later attended Ball State, where I studied meteorology. In college I started going in to different TV stations to shadow other meteorologists and I just kind of put together my 2 loves. I get to talk on TV and radio about weather
You were at the radio station?
Yeah, yeah, I used a different name. It was Coco Brown for a long time in Hot 963 and then Smooth Jazz 100.9 and a little on WTLC. I worked there for a while.
Remember your background like where you went to school and things like that?
I think I had the perfect set up to enter television. I went to North Central High School and there they had a school called the J Everett Light career center. I studied radio and TV operations in my classes at JEL. So I got to learn about radio and TV when I was in high school, junior and senior year. By the time I got to college, I went to Ball State and I majored in meteorology so my degree’s actually in meteorology and with a minor in broadcasting.
So you’ve been an Indiana native since the start?
Yeah, yeah, born and bred right here in Indiana. I moved away for a while to go to California. I worked in California for about 5 or 6 years. I did weather out there. So I’ve only been back in Indy for 2 years but I’m a local girl. I couldn’t wait to get back here. I miss California weather when it’s cold here. Right, yeah.
Where do you see yourself and kind of, what are your expectations later on? Or are you satisfied, I mean?
You know what; it’s hard to be satisfied. I want to keep growing, learning and getting better. I love my job, I absolutely love it. But I also love, talking to kids about weather, I love explaining weather, and I love forecasting. Right now I love waking up in the morning, coming here and explaining weather to viewers but you know things might change in 10 years. Hopefully, I’m still in love with my job in the next 10 or 15 years but if I’m not on TV forecasting weather, I think I’ll probably do something weather related.
For example talking to kids about it, or teaching it in some capacity because I do love talking about weather. Anyone who’s my friend know, they either, (a) they’ve received pictures of clouds, or (b) they’ve asked a simple question, they got an overly complicated answer from me about weather so I’m always going love talking about weather. I’m not sure I’ll always love talking about it on TV. I love Indy. My entire family is here. I was raised by my grandmother and my mother, they’re both here. And they get to watch me on TV every day which is cool because, you know, when I was in California, they didn’t get to see what I do for a living so now they get to watch me on TV. And I come from a huge family so everyone’s here so it’s good, I’m home.
Any brothers and sisters?
I do, I have 1 sister who is almost 21 now. She cracks me up. I was also raised in a house with all my cousins, quite a few of them; we were like sisters and brothers. So, I have a huge family.
Where did the little Ashley see herself when she was growing up playing? What was this 20 years down like, what do you see yourself in the weather?
You know what, I don’t know if I saw myself doing anything. I grew up mostly on Washington Boulevard and then we moved to the east side. I didn’t know any college graduates and I definitely didn’t know any meteorologist. I think my dream of becoming a meteorologist is just one of those things that slowly happen. I had a passion for learning and there were things that I absolutely love doing but I didn’t really put it together until much later. I was a decent student, I wasn’t a great student, I don’t know if I like envisioned the future when I was younger. I didn’t, I think it was maybe in high school when I started to say, hey! Maybe I can do a little more. There were people in high school that gave me a little direction. One of them was a local radio DJ here, Guy Black. He’s probably one of the first to say to me, you have a really cool voice, you should do radio. I interned with him for a long time, he helped me write down goals. So yeah, I think slowly over time, I could see myself becoming a meteorologist. And I think that’s how happens for a lot of kids.
Personal stuff. Give me a little bit about your personal life. What do you do for fun, kids all that stuff?
No children, I work a lot so, my personal life is here. Whenever there’s a storm or something, I’m texting with the other meteorologists; I’m here or on my way here, or watching the weather channel. When I’m not here I like being home. Or just with family hanging at my or at my cousin’s house sometimes my grandmother’s house. That takes up all of my free time. What I like to do most is just nothing, I guess. I like to a take long walk, I like to relax and hang out and just do nothing. That’s what I like to do.
Where does Ashley like, like everybody has this place, where they like to go to get away from everything? Where is your place? What is it a location or is it, is it just something to do to get away from everything?
Home. I like being home. I really do. My idea of the perfect Saturday…I pop on the weather channel, I crank it up, then I go to another room, put on a little jazz music, I usually have a project that I’m doing at home. Sometimes paint the wall, I like to build things but sometimes I’m just doing the dishes. That’s fun day for me. That’s my peaceful place. Especially on a nice day so I can open the windows. But you know the weather I love most when I’m home. I love thunderstorms the most and I love relaxing during thunderstorms. Watching them roll in then out. Most of the time during a thunderstorm, I’m here at work so I don’t relax and watch them that often.
5 things that no one knows about you that would be surprising?
Number 1, I love sweats. Don’t really like getting dressed up. Sweat pants and sweatshirts are my uniform at home. I don’t really like getting dressed up. That’s why I loved doing radio. I was always in sweats back then. Number 2, I hate exercise. I know people who love to go for a run or to the gym on their day off for fun. Working out is not my idea of a good time. I mean, every once while I have to do it but it’s not fun. Number 3. Most people would be surprised to know that I used to be a deejay, and I still love music. I love old music, I love old jazz, I love old blues music, and I love old hip hop music and some new. Not a lot but some. I even like, country music, I like rock music, I just love music. I’m a big music fan. Number 4. This one is funny my co-workers know it and they make fun of me. I watch Law and Order, SVU like you wouldn’t believe. I will watch as much Law and Order, SVU as time allows. I’ve seen it 20 times, if it comes on right now, then I’m ignoring you and I’m just like, ‘Oh man, what’s happening?’ Number 5. I guess not so surprising once again. I have pictures of clouds all over my house, just different cloud formations. Framed and decorative but yeah, there’s pictures all over my house of just different cloud formation from different areas that I’ve actually taken pictures of myself. I have pics of fog from St Louis; I have shots of wall clouds building over Indy. My favorite is a pic of an awesome thunderstorm moving in to California when I lived there in Palm Springs. So if you ever see cool cloud formations, send me a pic.
What do you do outside of work, network with community that you think, should you make you feel a little better about yourself?
Actually, I did some community work just last week. A lot of the times, I love going out to schools and I talking to kids about weather. Sometimes teachers contact me when the topic of weather comes up as a topic in their coursework. I have such a passion for weather. I love sharing that. I love talking to kids about weather and sometimes getting students to change their mind about a subject they thought was boring. I think in their mind, when they hear meteorologist, it doesn’t sound terribly exciting. It’s exciting to me.
You know, there’s a big thing in the media now, with people like yourself that you know they’re looking at morals. You know, a person to look up to something like that. What do you feel your role is in that arena? When kids see you on TV, and they see you doing your thing, what is it that you feel you have to present to them to, I guess make the world a little bit better.
You know what, I hope that they’re just inspired to go after their passion. I’m passionate about weather, I love weather and I had a dream to do this professionally and that’s exactly what I did. So I hope here, especially here in my hometown, I hope that kids, see me and go, ‘Hmm, you know what, she loves what she does and I want to grow up and do. I want to find a job that I love. So I think that’s what I hope, that I inspire. Not necessarily being a role model but more of a dream model of what you can have if you keep chasing your dream. Proof, that when you work hard enough for a dream you can achieve your dream. I definitely work hard.
How do you feel when someone say that you are a role model now?
You know what, I don’t mind being it. I don’t mind being a role model I guess, per say. Especially when it comes to having a dream, chasing after it and giving that dream. If that’s what you’re speaking of, then yeah, I don’t mind being a role model for kids. If I inspire you to do better than what you’re doing right now, then yeah, call me a role model. But I wouldn’t set myself up there.
Any words of wisdom to anyone out there that maybe watching or listening to this, any?
Yeah, someone told me once. ‘If you do what you love in life, and you will never work a day in your life.’