Riding aboard a NOAA P-3 “Hurricane Hunter” airplane to the Bahamas, he reported live from high in the sky, completing five separate eye wall penetrations over a 12 hour period, just days before the Super Storm devastated New Jersey.
Prior to his three years in Florida, he worked at Columbia, SC’s WIS-TV as the weekday evening meteorologist for five years where he covered hurricanes and tornadoes. His first on-air duties took him to the heart of tornado alley, where he was the morning meteorologist at KMEG in Sioux City, Iowa.
Brooks holds the National Weather Association and American Meteorological Society Seals of Approval.
A graduate of the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, he took his BFA and interest in atmospheric sciences to WHDH-TV in Boston to produce weather graphics for a couple of years while completing studies at Mississippi State University's Broadcast Meteorology Program.
Brooks also played a role in a Hollywood movie, as a St. Louis broadcast meteorologist alongside Forest Whitaker and Renee Zellweger in "My Own Love Song" (2010). He also provided off-screen forecast consulting for two movies.
An enthusiast of the outdoors and fitness, he rode his bicycle across the country in a seven-week trip from Virginia Beach to Los Angeles, carrying all 60 pounds of his gear. When he’s not on adventures, running or standup paddle boarding, he loves to get out, and be a part of the community.
Getting to know KHOU 11 Meteorologist Brooks Garner
Where were you born?
Born in Georgia, but moved to New England when I was very young.
If you could trade lives with someone for a day, who would that be?
Air Force pilot, flying a fighter jet.
What are your favorite weather moments?
I love that moment right when the rain starts -- when the earth emits that, “smell of rain.” Add a little distant thunder and looming, menacing clouds and it’s a moment of, “weather perfection” in my book.
What kind of music do you like and who is your favorite band?
I’ve always liked almost every genre of music. My Pandora and Spotify lists are kind of manic!
If you did not work in weather, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be out in LA trying my hand in the movie industry.
What was the greatest story you ever told?
The greatest story has to be the one where I barely outran a tornado – on my bicycle. I was a little over half way done with a cross-country ride when a tornado started heading toward me in the open fields of western Kansas. It was about a half mile away with winds blowing back toward it as I tried to peddle away as fast as I could, with packed panniers on my bike acting as sails. (It was like a bad dream when you’re trying to run away but your legs don’t work.) I couldn’t go faster than walking pace! I finally found a structure among the vast grasslands – an abandoned barn out-building packed with rusty harvester blades that hadn’t been accessed in at least 30 years … not safe … but it was my only option from a now impending vortex. The door opened only to shower me in dust and cob webs, as the twister passed less than a quarter mile away pulling loose roof shingles off my shelter, and ultimately crossed right where I’d been. Goosebumps.
What would we like to know about you?
I’ve got family scattered all over the country – Texas included. My mom’s from Corpus Christi and one of my aunts lives in the Dallas area, so to move to Texas was a bit like coming home.
Do you have any children?
Yes, a beautiful daughter who is in her toddler years.
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
I’d invest it in new businesses and on the markets, hoping one day soon to turn it into a billion dollars. Then, I could make a more notable contribution to society through philanthropy.
Who is your personal hero?
Anybody who has volunteered to fight for our freedom in the military earns the “hero” status in my mind.
Where do you like to vacation?
I’m a beach person but I also like to spend time hiking in the high country of our state/national parks during the summer and snowboard in the winters.
What are some of your favorite books and movies?
I’ve been into a lot of narrative history books lately about wars -- and weather … It helps me understand what’s led to the world we live in today and what may happen tomorrow. For relaxing fiction, I like a good beach book like those from Carl Hiassen.
Coffee or tea or neither?
Coffee! I’ve even made special hurricane preps in my kit, packing spare propane bottles and extra bags of instant coffee to insure I can get that good, strong cup every morning.
What is one thing you dream to do?
I dream that I live long enough to see my child find success and fulfillment in her life. Beyond that, I’d like to see Earth from orbit and experience Zero-G.
What is one place in the world that you would like to visit?
I’d love to visit the tropical islands of Thailand.
Where was your last vacation?
My backyard… Well, my old backyard. The beaches of Tampa Bay.
What is your favorite soft drink?
What are your favorite foods?
Thai, Vietnamese for their clean, fresh feel, and Italian for a rich, delectable treat!
What is your favorite midnight snack?
PB & J
What is your favorite pastime?
Exploring the coastal waterways on a standup paddle board and taking my daughter to the park and playground.
What else would we like to know about you?
Ever since Hurricane Gloria swept through my hometown as a kid, I’ve always been interested in weather. Witnessing sea gulls helpless flying backwards while trying to fight the winds and seeing ancient trees falling over as if a giant hand effortlessly pushed them, made an impression on me and I was hooked. I’ve also always loved art too... So, for my undergraduate degree I attended an art school in Boston studying graphic design, film and video. Those skills ultimately landed me my first TV job, making weather graphics for a Boston TV station. From there I pursued post-graduate studies in meteorology and found myself doing my dream job: on-air broadcast meteorology!
What might most people be surprised to know about you?
While I’m all about adventure, action and science, my “other” dream is to do everything I can to be a superstar dad.