“For a career devoted to educating viewers about severe weather, as exemplified by his life-saving coverage of the May 2007 Greensburg, Kansas, tornado.”
American Meteorological Society’s Award for Broadcast Meteorology, presented January 20, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia
Managing Meteorologist Jay Prater joined the KAKE First Alert Weather team in January 2004
Jay was designated as the first Certified Broadcast Meteorologist™ by the American Meteorological Society® in Kansas, and the fourth worldwide. He was awarded CBM™ certificate number 4, even though he was the first to take and pass the CBM™ exam.
Before being superseded by the CBM™, Jay was awarded both Television and Radio Seals of Approval from the American Meteorological Society®. Today, he also maintains both Television and Radio Seals of Approval from the National Weather Association.
He is a former member, and Chairman of the AMS Board of Broadcast Meteorology. Previously, Jay was a NWA Councilor, Chairman of the NWA Broadcast Meteorology Committee, Recertification Chairman for the NWA Seal of Approval, and a long-standing member of the NWA Subcommittee on Standards and Ethics.
Jay came to KAKE from Panama City, Florida, where he was the morning meteorologist for WJHG-TV. He also worked as the Managing Meteorologist for WSMV-TV in Nashville, Tennessee and WAFF-TV in Huntsville, Alabama. During his time in Huntsville, he was a weather consultant to the contractor of the Unity Module. Today Unity is in orbit, as a key component of the International Space Station. Jay’s television career began working weekends for WVTM-TV in his native Birmingham, Alabama starting in 1987.
In his spare time, Jay is an Extra Class Amateur “Ham” Radio operator, working with volunteer storm spotters. He also likes to fly, as a private pilot. All of his primary fight training was given in aircraft built in Wichita. You might also game with him, online, via Xbox 360 Live.
Jay is Kansas’ most honored broadcast meteorologist. His awards include:
American Metrological Society:
Award for Broadcast Meteorology
National Weather Association:
25th Anniversary Special Award
National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences:
2006 Regional Emmy® Award: Set Design: “The KAKEland WeatherPlex”
1999 Regional Emmy® Award: Weathercast
2007 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Weather Anchor
2006 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Weather Anchor
2005 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Interactivity
2004 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Weather Anchor
1998 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Spot Story: “Birmingham Tornado”
1997 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Weathercast
1996 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Weathercast
1996 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Engineering Achievement
1995 Regional Emmy® Award Nomination: Weathercast
RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Awards:
1998 Regional Spot News Award: “Rainsville Tornado”
1995 Regional News Series Award: “The Doppler Dilemma”
1993 Regional Spot News Award: “Hurricane Andrew”
State Press Associations:
2009 1st Place – Weathercast
2007 2nd Place – Weathercast
2000 Honorable Mention: Best Weathercast
1999 Best Weather Anchor
1998 Best Spot News: “Birmingham Tornado”
1997 Best Weather Anchor
1996 Best Weather Anchor
1996 Best Spot News: “Huntland Tornado”
1994 Best Weather Anchor
1994 Best Spot News: “Ice Storm '94”
1993 Best Weather Anchor
Kansas State Fair:
2007 Grape Stomp Champion
2006 Grape Stomp Champion
(No real skill here…just size 12 feet)
Jay, his wife Julie, their daughter, and son live in Wichita and are avid “Kansas Explorers” having visited, so far, over 40 of the 64 counties of KAKEland. Their travels have included the “daunting” climb of Mt. Sunflower, standing on the “3 corners” of Kansas, Colorado, and Nebraska, and actually adding twine to the “World’s Largest Ball of Twine” in Cawker City. Along the way, they have taken photographs of most of the county courthouses.
You can watch Jay weekdays at 4, 5, 6 and 10pm, or whenever tornadoes threaten, on KAKE.