reminisces about one of her
first weather forecasts.
Right after being hired by a Knoxville TV station, she
predicted "wet" rain.
They laughed and laughed," said Patton
, cracking up over her
But the Mt. Juliet native is nothing but serious business when she
hits the air at 4, 4:30, 5, 6 and 10 p.m. weekdays on WKRNChannel 2 where she
has been weather casting for the past 18 years.
Breaking away from the busyness of the News 2 Storm Center
, multiple sides to Patton's personality come streaming out.
a devoted mother who home schools her
three children with her
husband of 19 years, and family comes fi rst.
loves the outdoors, especially Center Hill Lake, and is a sports buff.
Sewing and crafts also attract her
time and attention.
And she's a huge fan of country music and once was host of a country music radio show.
Lisa Patton (Age 13 - Left in Picture)
early years were nurtured in a rural environment as the now bustling sprawl of Mt. Juliet
was but a country community in the 1960s and '70s, and as a schoolgirl she
worked hard on her
parents' and grandparents' farms.
"My dad's family is from the Watertown area, and my grandparents used to live on Patton Hollow Road for years, and my mother's family is from the Statesville area.
We are definitely Wilson Countians," Patton
, 48, said about her
dad and mom's roots in the southeastern part of the county.
I kind of grew up with my feet in the dirt," says Patton
, who at the age of 12 could handle a tractor like Danica Patrick handles a racecar.
was born in Coos Bay, Ore., just as her
father was coming out of the Air Force.
Settling in Mt. Juliet, he went to work for Western Electric and AT&T.
Now retired, Bill Patton had his Nashville office at the corner of Polk and Fessler, about a block and a half from where Lisa
calls the shots on the weather today at Channel 2.
, the oldest, and her
sister Lora and brother Lyle.
Later, she served as secretary for the city of Mt. Juliet for 25 years before retiring five years ago.
A graduate of Mt. Juliet High School
, Patton's extra-curricular activities as a Golden Bear included playing on the volleyball team ("I was terrible," she
confesses), membership in the French and Beta Clubs and helping the class of 1979 build their homecoming floats in her
After high school, it was off to Knoxville in pursuit of a degree in broadcasting.
Patton had no idea she would soon be a student of sunny days and stormy nights, but her tutelage would not be in a classroom.
"I didn't really decide what I wanted to be.
It decided on me," she
Every day is a little bit different," said Patton
Matthew Zelkind, news director at WKRN from 1995 to 2004 and now back in that role since May 2007, has known Patton for 14 years and is a big believer in her talents.
first and foremost is a remarkable person.
After working for six years in Knoxville radio and TV, Patton
knew it was time to move to a newer and bigger market and landed a four-year gig at WTVD
in Raleigh-Durham, N.C., as a weekend weather anchor and news reporter three days a week.
Patton's mother was a stay-at-home mom,"I got immersed in that pretty quickly and covered everything from murders to protests to you name it.
I did a little bit of news anchoring, but weather is really my niche.
That's where I am most comfortable."
While working in Raleigh-Durham, Patton met her husband-to-be, Eric, a director at the TV station.
After a three-year courtship, they wed and set their sights on a move to Middle Tennessee.
Lisa Patton with Anchor Bob Mueller
"Nashville is a great TV market and there are not many turnovers.
Every time I came home, I would bring my tape and knock on all three station's doors, and one day (in July of 1991) I got call from Bill Lord (then news director at WKRN), and he
said, 'I've got a place for you,' and I said, 'OK, I'm ready.'"
dream job, got to be back with family to boot, and has since given birth to three children and has been raising them on the same road that she
grew up on.
That's my most important position," Patton
Every day is different but our point is life-long learning," Patton
As a weather forecaster, she
vocation to be one of life-long learning as well, especially in the use of new technology.
"I've watched the world of computers change the way we deliver weather in the past 15 years, but I still have to plug in current temperatures at the top of the hour.
It's not all automatic, but there are many more automatic features.
The most important piece of equipment I have is Storm tracker," said Patton
, who speaks with authority and energy that commands attention during her
continual goal is to get the forecast right while relating it to what people are doing, and she
feels the pressure when bad weather threatens the lives and property of her
"We have a lot of dangerous weather here and that is a great responsibility. . . . I may seem calm on outside, but when I can see a big rotating storm, there is fear there.
You know people could be losing everything or they may be in harm's way.
I am fearful for them.
It was terrifying when I knew the tornado of 1998 came within a mile or so of my family," said Patton
"Back in '98 when East Nashville was hit so hard right as school let out and parents were still at work, we had to tell people, 'This is when it's gonna get there and what you need to do.' Later, so many parents said, 'My kids did exactly what you said.' It is so important to keep giving the basic information to stay safe," says Patton
, who has worked a stretch of bad weather for six consecutive
As for the perks to her
said, "I like the fact that it is different every day.