Weather Forecaster Goes Freelance
by Jill K. McDonald, Writer, and Rebecka Hoyt, Editor & Photographer
Just before Christmas, some of our team got the chance to have a Google Meet interview with Meteorologist Matt Rudkin. Most of our readers know him as the former Chief Meteorologist at the WSBT 22 TV station in Mishawaka, IN. Now he is a Freelance Meteorologist from his basement in SW Michigan, but also works at United Airlines in Chicago. We were all very curious on how he made this transition from TV to home. So, read on to find out!
Growing up, Matt lived in Warsaw, Indiana. He wanted to be a pilot, but financially that was out of reach. So he turned to what seemed only natural, which was meteorology. As he said, “Any good pilot knows the weather.”
Matt earned a Bachelor of Atmospheric Science from Purdue University. Throughout his years in school, he was very involved in music. He said staying active kept him busy and out of trouble, plus created lifelong friends.
After graduating, Matt worked with WSBT for ten years. After that time, he decided to venture into freelance meteorology for a change of pace. He absolutely loved working with the TV station. Going out on his own as a freelancer will allow him even further one-on-one interaction with people and he will be able to answer individual weather-related questions. As support of his work grows, he has ideas for creating an app and more.
His favorite part of working with the TV station was the public service aspect and being involved in the local community. He loved going into the elementary and high schools and participating in the WSBT reading program where he would read to an audience of kids. Matt still likes to do these things and also talk with us and others!
My (Rebecka’s) daughter Julie joined in on the interview as it’s a requirement for the Meteorology AHG badge she’s working on. One of her questions was what subjects should you be good at for this? And he said, “Math and science. Also important are physics, chemistry, and geography.”
In his free time, he likes to ski at Swiss Valley, see his two nieces, and travel anywhere with United Airlines when the opportunity comes along. He would love to go to Europe and Australia.
This winter, he is predicting for Berrien county Michigan to be snowier and colder, which is a La Niña pattern. A question was brought up about global warming/climate change. Matt states, “There is only 125 years of weather data out of all of history. And if you think about how the 1920’s & 30’s were, they are different from the 2020’s (auto emissions is one example). The middle of the lake (Michigan) is currently still 47℉. We put down concrete and cut down trees. The planet is millions of years old so there isn’t enough local data and the best way to get data is from the carbonated ice.”
We may see some more weather information from Matt Rudkin in The Buchanan Chronicle future issues if this article gets many shares, so please share it and make some comments. Perhaps he will respond! You can visit and support his meteorologist Facebook page: Meteorologist Matt Rudkin here and get your local SW Michigan forecast from him.