Blake Mathews is the weekend Meteorologist for KHOU 11 News.
Before joining the station in September 2016, he was at WJXT in Jacksonville, Florida where he got his fill of hurricanes, tropical storms, floods and endless summer heat. It was also his first exposure to the national spotlight while doing live reports from the coasts of Mississippi and Florida during Hurricane Issac and Tropical Storm Karen for affiliates in major cities across the nation. "I succeeded in Jacksonville because the climate there was very much like my hometown: Houston! The beach was nice, being near Orlando was entertaining but there's no place like home."
That's right! Blake is a native of the area, growing up near The Woodlands and graduating from Oak Ridge High School (War Eagles!). He says that it's easy to forecast Houston weather when you know and understand what kind of crazy things can be thrown at you here. "I've been here for just about every major weather event possible from the 1989 arctic outbreak and snow event, to the 1994 floods, '97 ice storm, Tropical Storm Allison, the 2004 Christmas snow storm, 2011 drought/heat wave to hurricanes Rita and Ike. I'm exhausted just thinking about those things!"
Blake considers himself blessed and extremely fortunate to be back in his hometown working. "Not many people get that opportunity, especially in such a large city, and if it weren't for a supportive family, a determined attitude and abundant grace from God, I wouldn't be where I am."
When he is not at the station, he's likely monitoring the forecast models on his cell phone from the comforts of home along side dogs Winston Oliver and Chop Suey. He spends much of his time at the gym and being out and about. "Being healthy and in good-shape is a priority of mine (most of the time)," he says. When not at the gym, he's likely planning his next trip to some remote area of the world. He says traveling is his way to escape the "analysis paralysis" of the weather -- being consumed by analyzing the latest data from the models. Having just got back from Australia, his next stop he hopes is Asia or the Arctic regions of Alaska.
Blake has also worked at KBTX in Bryan, Texas and is currently completing the broadcast meteorology program at Mississippi State University along side his seals of approval.
Where were you born?
Shreveport, Louisiana. Lived there only for three years and then got to Texas as quick as we could!
If you could trade lives with someone for a day, who would that be?
The President of the United States.
What are your favorite weather moments?
The sharp drop of temperatures behind a blue norther -- being outside in the muggy, warm air and 10 minutes later rushing to look for a hoodie or jacket!
What kind of music do you like and who is your favorite band?
Country music! (Think Reba)
If you did not work in weather, what would you be doing?
I'd want to work at an airport or be a tour guide. I love history!
What was the greatest story you ever told?
My greatest story or most memorable weather event: This is easily the evacuation of Hurricane Rita. Up until that time I had never been through a hurricane before, much less a category 5 hurricane. With Rita forecast to hit Galveston as a high end category 5, and the recent devastation of New Orleans from Katrina, I thought for sure it was the end. I remember seeing I-45, both sides, headed north and the cars were backed up for 50 miles or more. Travel times to Dallas were 36 hours. We left from Spring and were in the car for 9 hours only to make it to Livingston. Low on gas and patience and rampant looting of stores and mom getting sick, we decided to turn around and take our chances at home. Not long after being home, mom and dad decided it wasn't safe for us to be there and once again got back on to the highway to get out of town. To drive away from you house for what could be the last time you see it was frightening and a surreal moment in time.
What would we like to know about you?
My faith is important to me. Being a Christian is a daily lesson in being a better me, treating others better and focusing on others versus myself.
Do you have any children?
No children but I want a house full one day. I love kids! I'm a 6' tall one!
If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?
The responsible thing would be to invest it and save it. Honestly, I'd blow it and enjoy doing it.
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 much prefer the mountains over the beaches. So anywhere out west. Colorado is always a safe bet for me!
What are some of your favorite books and movies?
I'm a big fan of Jurassic Park, Forrest Gump and Dumb and Dumber.
Coffee or tea or neither?
If I had to choose: Tea. Not a big drinker of either.
What is one thing you dream to do?
Fairly simple: I just want to fly on a 747 before the Queen of the Sky is taken out of production.
What is one place in the world that you would like to visit?
The Holy Land in Israel.
Where was your last vacation?
Royal Caribbean Cruise to St.Maarten, Puerto Rico and Haiti.
What is your favorite soft drink?
What are your favorite foods?
Chicken, Turkey, Beef, Shrimp in no particular order.
What is your favorite midnight snack?
What is your favorite pastime?
Watching football and bowling
What else would we like to know about you?
In my career there are two things I want to experience: a blizzard in Houston (yes, it's happened: Valentine's Day 1895) and standing in the eye of a hurricane. If I accomplish those two things, I will retire a happy man.
What might most people be surprised to know about you?
I'm terrified of lightning! How crazy is that?!