We are excited to announce that Bill Boss started with AcuRite in July 2020, leading the Product Management team as a Sr. Director of Product Management. Bill joins our team with an extensive background in the weather industry and in product team management. Bill graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology, and for the first 12 years of his career, he worked as an on-air Meteorologist. After that, he transitioned into various sales and product management roles with Weather Central, Weather Services International, and AccuWeather.
So let's get right to it! As a meteorologist, I have many questions for Bill, and I think you might too!
What is your first weather memory? What is your craziest weather experience?
I was always intrigued by weather since the age of 7 when I spotted a tornado, and my passion for weather began! This was during the Super Outbreak of April 3-4, 1974. I was living just south of Louisville, Kentucky. The tornado I saw was moving through the downtown Louisville area. I remember I was watching a live weather report during the late afternoon after school, and they were showing a map with magnetic tornado symbols on it. There were probably 10 tornado symbols on the map, and they weren’t tornadoes that already had happened. They were all tornadoes on the ground at that time! It was a crazy day! I was miles away from any tornado, so I was in no immediate danger. I remember it like it was yesterday.
That leads us to the common question: Why and how did you become a meteorologist? Is it similar to my story? Lots of math, upper-level calculus, and studying around-the-clock?
I decided on that day in 1974 that I wanted to be a meteorologist. I thought it would be fascinating to work in a field where every day is different because the weather is different every day. I was always attracted to television since I loved communicating. I was very lucky to reach my childhood dream and do that. And yes, lots of math and calculus (somehow, I got an A in differential equations). I also remember taking a couple of English literature courses thinking it would be a good break from all the math and physics. I was wrong! Lots of work. Hats off to all the English majors!
How do you plan to use your meteorology background at AcuRite, in your role as Senior Director of Product Management?
I am really excited to be joining the AcuRite team and believe there are so many opportunities to use my background. As you can imagine, I love data, especially the display of complex data. I have spent my whole career focused on displaying weather data to tell stories and help people and business make decisions to protect themselves, their families, and their businesses. I am looking forward to seeing how we can take My AcuRite to the next level while also constantly working on data integrity and accuracy. There is so much we can do!
Now that you've had a couple of months to play around with AcuRite products, what weather data do you love to track, and what are you finding most useful?
Is all of it an acceptable answer?! Seriously, I am that guy. My favorite things are rainfall data, wind speed and direction, and indoor humidity. See the next question for my reasons why.
How do you use AcuRite products (and weather data in general) in your daily life?
I’ve been using the rain gauge data to figure out how much to water my tomato plants out back. (They are doing great!) I’m a runner, so I really appreciate the local wind data. That will be important this winter for the “out and back” runs (you runners know what I'm talking about). I’ve even used one of our meat temperature probes to make some great steaks on the grill (always challenging since my wife has a very different preference than me). And for anyone with a basement, you will understand why I like the indoor humidity measurements. It is a great piece of data to help with setting the dehumidifier at just the right level. But that’s why I love working on these products. We provide things that people use each and every day. And that’s what you want to be doing as a product manager.
Come on, you must have some embarrassing clips to share with us from your days as a broadcast meteorologist!
I think I was lucky that I exited TV weather before social media. J There was an old clip floating around that showed me getting kissed on the forehead by Willard Scott while at KUTV in Salt Lake City, Utah. He was there doing one of his famous live reports from Park City, Utah, prior to the Olympic Games behind held there. I was fortunate enough to interview him live on air. Five seconds into the interview, he pulled me down and kissed my forehead! He then pulled off his hat to show his similarly follicle-deprived head, put his arm around me and said, “My son.” What a moment! That’s one clip I should have saved!
The two images below are from my days at KIMT in Mason City, Iowa. Both are probably from 1989, from my first full-time TV gig. I had previously done some part-time work while a student at Iowa State University for WOI-TV in Ames: the morning show and an occasional weekend show.
The first image is a promotional headshot, and the second is a Winter Weather planning bookmark. The other side of the bookmark had a wind chill chart (rough winters in northern Iowa!).
Here’s the other one I thought might be interesting. This is from October 1997 while I was at KUTV in Salt Lake City. I was doing a “make a cloud” demonstration for some elementary school students. This photograph was in the local newspaper.
Do you have more questions for Bill? Ask your questions for Bill in the comments below!