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Roy Leep

Roy Leep

Roy Leep was a longtime meteorologist with television station WTVT in Tampa, Florida. He graduated with honors from the USAF Weather School in 1952 where he remained as an instructor until 1956. He then attended Florida State University majoring in meteorology until joining WTVT.

Leep joined WTVT's weather department in August 1957, was granted the seal of approval (#10) from the American Meteorological Society in January 1960, became the chief meteorologist for the station in 1959 and retired as Executive Director in 1997.

In 1959, Leep's team installed Florida's first radar unit used exclusively by a TV station, and he is considered a pioneer in weather forecasting.

His "Radar Weather Eye" remained the only radar used by a Florida television station for ten years.

His weather department was used as a model for hundreds of television stations all over the country looking to begin or modernize their weather departments.

Leep, one of the most well-known television broadcasters in the Tampa Bay area, kept WTVT ahead of the competition by constantly upgrading equipment. He was first with color radar, first with satellite weather, first with Doppler and was considered one of the most trusted meteorologists in America for many years.

On January 18, 1977, his staff were the only Tampa Bay area meteorologists to predict snow for the following morning.

Against all odds and before the eyes of a dumbfounded competition, the snow came before sunrise on Jan 19, 1977, closing schools, the area's Interstate Highway System and many businesses. Prior to that date, it had not snowed in Tampa for over 50 years.

For over 10 years, Leep closed his 11p.m.

weather program by displaying "Scud," his Carin Terrier, in various canine sports and evening wear.

Scud became an area celebrity and was mourned when she died in 2003.

During his career he created the WTVT Weather Service,and WeatherVision which performed special weather prediction missions for private agricultural and other business interests in Central Florida. The service was a source of additional income for the station. This was the only commercial weather service in Central Florida and Leep's colleagues credited his accuracy for its success with clients who could have easily relied upon the U.S. Weather Bureau.

He retired in 1997 after over 40 years of service to the station.

The ultra-modern weather center at WTVT was named "The Roy Leep Weather Center".

He now lives with his wife in North Tampa near the University of South Florida where he operates a weather forecasting center for providing TV weather channels to University Village (retirement community).

Roy Leep
Born1932 (age 83–84)
Alma materFlorida State University


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Jul 18, 2016, 2:47 AM