Stand Up and Be Heard!

Beloved meteorologist Dr. Mel Goldstein was the featured speaker for the WCSU President’s Lecture series on March 29, 2011.

Goldstein has been studying weather all his life. He started a meteorology club when he was in the 8th grade, and decades later the club is still in existence. He went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in meteorology from Penn State University, and then M.S. and Ph. D. degrees in meteorology from New York University. He developed a severe storm prediction index that is utilized by numerous electric utilities across the country, and he has been a consultant to a number of large firms including IBM, Union Carbide, General Electric, Detroit Edison, Philadelphia Electric, Northeast Utilities and United Illuminating.

Dr. Mel always intended to teach. He fulfilled this goal when he joined the WCSU faculty in 1970, and he accomplished much during his time at the university. He founded the first university Weather Center in New England at Western, and pushed for creation of Connecticut’s first Bachelor of Arts in Meteorology.

His media career began soon after he started teaching at WCSU. Dr. Mel started on a single local radio station and by 1976, his broadcasts were on dozens of radio stations across the country. At that time, he began doing television weather. In the 1980s, his forecasts were seen nationwide on the Satellite News Channel, an all-news cable effort of ABC and Westinghouse.

He became chief meteorologist at WTNH-TV, Connecticut’s ABC affiliate, in 1986 where he is now seen doing the noon forecasts. Dr. Mel wrote a weekly column for the Hartford Courant in Northeast Magazine for 20 years and also authored “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weather.”

Dr. Mel has received a number of awards, including the President’s Medal at WCSU for his years of teaching and community service, the Connecticut Bloomer Award for his contributions to the state of Connecticut, and a nomination for an Emmy for a series of education vignettes about the weather. In addition, he has received honorary doctorate degrees from Albertus Magnus College and Mitchell College, and he has received the President’s Award from Quinnipiac University. For eight consecutive years, Dr. Mel has been voted Connecticut’s best television weatherperson in a reader’s poll of Connecticut Magazine.

He has begun a foundation for research into multiple myeloma, bone marrow cancer, at the Yale School of Medicine. Dr. Mel is battling this form of incurable cancer, and his proceeds from the “Complete Idiot’s Guide to Weather” have been donated to that fund. He has served as a director on several boards, including the Connecticut Academy for Education, the Long Island Sound Foundation and the Ronald McDonald House.

When he is not predicting the weather and telling people about it, Dr. Mel can be found playing jazz on his piano at his home overlooking Long Island Sound. He lives in Guilford with his wife Arlene. They were married as undergraduates at Penn State in 1965. They have two daughters, Laura and Melodie.

He says, “The weather belongs to all of us. It is very democratic. All we need to do is look upward and learn.” And for anyone needing good weather for that outdoor wedding or graduation, he says, good-naturedly, “Just remember, I am in prediction, not production.”

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Dr. Mel Goldstein with his wife, Arlene