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NEW for JUNE: Friends of WeatherWatch – This Week: TV3’s Ingrid Hipkiss

Each Friday across the month of June we’re going to showcase well known or hard working people who over the years have shown support towards – and people who embrace the weather and climate.

Our first interview is with TV3’s Ingrid Hipkiss – Weather Presenter for 3 News and someone who has always been very kind and supportive of online via Twitter.

You can follow Ingrid on Twitter @ingridhipkiss and see her on 3 Weather.

Next Friday: Sir Peter Leitch, The Mad Butcher!

1) Which do you prefer, hot weather or cold?

Given that you’re asking me this in May, in the middle of a very cold snap, I have to say hot weather. I tend to hibernate in winter, and I don’t like the shorter days. Warmer weather makes me think of the good things in life: holidays, the beach, cricket and ice-cream.

2) Which part of NZ did you grow up in?

Whakatane, the sunshine capital of New Zealand! It really does have the most beautiful climate, and a youth spent making the most of it means I’ve already had a few skin cancer scares.

3) Describe your ideal weather?

Late summer is pretty great, warm clear days, but still cool enough to sleep, with a little crispness in the morning. Perfect!

4) What is the hardest part of your job?

Keeping people happy! I’m often accused on being too hard on Wellington if I talk about it being a windy day; Farmers get annoyed if I talk about “nice” sunshine, when they are desperate for rain; and if you have a major outdoor event planned people get a bit annoyed if I talk about “welcome rain”.

It’s also an inexact science, and we all interpret it through our own experiences, so there’s a bit of room for error, which can be annoying for me and for the viewers.

5) Do people always ask you what the forecast is?

Yes! Which is tricky, I think of the forecast in big picture terms, the weather story, so it’s hard to give an off the cuff forecast for Napier next weekend, or Queenstown on Monday .. which are the sort of requests I get.

During the school drop offs I sometimes get a few grumbles about the weather as well, if it’s not a great day.

Hilary and Mike often ask me for a heads up during the commercial break just before my forecast .. I make them wait and watch.

6) Which weather memory sticks out most for you?

The first few reports/weather presentations I’ve done from the snow stick in my mind. As a northerner I hadn’t seen much snow and had a pretty romantic view of it. I didn’t realise just how cold it’s possible to get – it was actually physically painful, hard to think and talk, and so hard to get warm afterwards. I have invested in some more appropriate clothing since then, but if I ever get lost in the wilderness I’ll be a gonner.

7) Do you like thunderstorms?

I don’t mind them these days, as long as I’m inside. For years I was terrified of them, like under the bed terrified, then I did a trip round Africa where they had huge violent fork lightning storms. I remember sleeping in a tent next to the metal pole during a storm and just waiting to get blasted .. I survived that so figure I can handle anything now.

8) What do you love most about presenting the weather for 3News?

I love the story telling aspect, taking “raw” data and trying to make it interesting and relateable for viewers. I don’t see that aspect as too different from the various other forms of reporting I’ve done. Live television is always a thrill and I work with wonderful people.

9) What type of weather do you dislike the most?

Windy weather – I can see the positives with dry/wet hot/cold, but wind, is just always annoying.

10) Who is someone who inspires you?

So many, but generally someone who embraces life with a positive, grateful attitude and a sense of humour. I also think Mums in general are pretty amazing.



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