The Remarkable Life of Steve Pool

I am very sad to report the passing of Steve Pool, past chief meteorologist at KOMO TV, and a dear friend for many decades.

Steve was one of the most exceptional and generous individuals I have ever known.

A brilliant communicator.  A kind and generous soul.  A highly intuitive and insightful meteorologist. And someone who gave so much to our community.

I first got to know Steve during the mid-80s, when I got a call from KOMO-TV asking whether I would instruct him in meteorology; he had just taken on weather responsibilities at the station.   

For the next year and a half, Steve and I worked together intensively to cover the essentials of meteorology, Northwest weather, and weather forecasting.  An extraordinarily bright guy, Steve quickly mastered a huge volume of weather knowledge and became a very able local weather analyst and forecaster.   He was determined to get his forecasts right, and we would often talk during the late evening before his 11 PM broadcast.

As I got to know him better it became clear to me that he was a preternaturally talented communicator and that I had a lot to learn from him in that domain.  

And I mean much more than a smooth delivery.  He had the ability to connect with people.  A disarming smile, great empathy, and a personality that was upbeat and sunny.  I don’t think I ever heard him talk ill of another.

We would regularly talk about difficult forecasting situations, driven by his strong 

commitment to not only get the forecast right but to get the explanation correct.

But Steve had many other dimensions and none were as noteworthy as his dedication to the community. 

One day he called me, suggesting that some UW students could intern at KOMO. This 

internship was a great success, giving roughly 3-4 students a year a chance to 

assist in developing the daily weather offerings at KOMO, including the use of a complex 

graphics system, preparing forecasts, and even practicing in front of the camera. All under the 

eyes and with the assistance of a master weathercaster. 

Many of Steve’s student interns went on to successful careers as TV meteorologists, including Shannon O’Donnel, M. J. McDermott,  Kelley Bayern, Nathan Santo Domingo, Jefferson Davison, Scott Sistek, Brandon Wholey and Matt Leach–to name just a few.  Scott  Sistek worked for Steve for 20 years and together they wrote an excellent, conversational book on Northwest weather that received an impressive 5-star rating–Somewhere I Was Right.

Shannon O’Donnell, a past intern, is now chief meteorologist for KOMO.  And in Steve’s 

tradition, she is teaching a course in my department on weather communication,  including a Dawgcast available online to the general public. 

Steve’s influence will be very, very long-lived.

Steve was extremely interested in outreach to young people, and a good example of his efforts 

was the annual Weather Education Day at Safeco Field. Before the game, THOUSANDS of 

students would enjoy learning about basic weather principles and local weather, presented by 

Steve and his guests (I even did it one time).

Steve became a mega-local celebrity, but this did not change him, and he used that celebrity 

to assist in fun raisers and other gatherings for local charitable organizations and importantly 

for his alma mater, the University of Washington. He helped raise millions of dollars for a 

whole slew of important causes and was the MC for many public events put on by my 

department.  On the side, Steve built a small enterprise, assisting folks in learning how to be accomplished communicators.

Shannon O’Donnell, myself, Steve, and Scott Sistek

Steve loved his family, always talking about his wife Michelle and their talented daughters,
Lindsey and Marissa.  When I went over to his house he talked with great pride of his father, who served in WWII  and was shot by the Germans in northern France after D-Day. Steve was a history buff and had a whole wall of history books in his study, as well as the many Emmys he had won over the years.

But what impressed me more than all his accomplishments was his sheer bravery when his health failed.   I don’t want to say any more about it, except that he stayed positive and hopeful to the end, where many would have surrendered to despair.  

An extraordinary human being that has given so much, to so many.  An individual who has profoundly changed our lives in so many positive ways.  He will be missed.


News7g: Update the world's latest breaking news online of the day, breaking news, politics, society today, international mainstream news .Updated news 24/7: Entertainment, the World everyday world. Hot news, images, video clips that are updated quickly and reliably

Related Articles

Back to top button