ORLANDO, Fla. – If you’re a loyal News 6 viewer, you know Chief Meteorologist Tom Sorrells has been covering Central Florida weather for a long time. (Okay, he’s not THAT old. Ha!)
Tom said before social media was a thing, a News 6 producer came up with a unique idea to connect Tom with viewers.
“People could just call in and talk to me and I could answer them, like, live on TV, almost like talk radio comes to TV, and I always tell people it was social media before there was social media,” Tom said.
Talk to Tom debuted in 2004 when Hurricane Charley plowed through Central Florida, making landfall as a Category 4. Viewers called in during live coverage. While answering questions, Tom would use radars and other weather tools to pinpoint the conditions in specific areas.
“There’s any number of data points, any numbers of wild research going back 50 years. People’s favorite part of the newscast is weather and this is just our way of giving people what they want,” Tom said. “After we started doing Talk to Tom, the newspaper at the time made fun of us. Thought it was the goofiest thing they’ve ever seen. Other stations tried it and eventually stopped, but we kept doing it and it’s become my thing.”
Fast forward nearly 20 years and Tom now hosts the show from his home in the mornings in a casual setting. Viewers chime in on social media to keep the conversation going.
“I am more of a people person. Don’t get me wrong, I like my private time, but I like to interact as well,” Tom said.
Tom will answer your questions on just about anything from weather to more personal topics.
“People ask ‘Why did you want to be a meteorologist? Who cut your hair? What kind of car do you drive?’ I don’t mind that either... questions about ‘Do you think the Dolphins are going to go to the Superbowl?’ We talk about everything except politics... we don’t talk about politics,” Tom said.
Talk to Tom has since evolved to a podcast, now a weekly show starting Thursday, Nov. 17.
“If you want to Talk to Tom, submit your questions. We’ll call you and talk to you. That’s what’s new, it’s not just during a crisis time, not just during hurricane season, it’s year round all the time. You can’t get enough Talk to Tom,” Tom said.
If you would like to Talk to Tom, just fill out the form below. It’s quite possible that we will be in touch and you’ll be featured on the show!
You can listen to every episode of Florida’s Fourth Estate in the media player below: