David Payne: He’s the (Weather) Man

Conversation

Before You Think You’ve Had A Stressful Day At Work, try to remember any spring day during the past two decades that hasn’t featured David Payne in front of a radar screen or behind the wheel of a storm-chasing vehicle.

KWTV’s Chief Meteorologist is a borderline weather savant who can recall, with remarkable detail, the dates, conditions and paths of any tornado for the past 20 years or more, the Emmy Award-winning meteorologist is as much a part of the Oklahoma weather spotlight as the historic weather events he has covered.

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Are you a native Oklahoman? Yes. In fact, my family still owns the land they settled in the Land Run, just north of Crescent, but I grew up in Edmond and graduated from the University of Oklahoma.

In terms of professions, yours is a particularly “eventful” line of work. How do you describe it? Controlled chaos.

What’s the best part? The best part is, when there’s a weather event, being able to talk about it ahead of time and helping people make good decisions to stay alive and be safe, and then getting through it OK. It makes me sad and sick to my stomach to think of any loss of life from a tornado or some kind of severe weather.

And all those storm chasing vehicles … I’ve destroyed a lot of vehicles in 20+ years.

Which of those events stand out the most? May 20, 2013. May 8, 2003. May 3, 1999.

What is the one thing you can’t live without? Coffee.

If you had a day to kill doing something, what would you be doing? Fishing. Maybe in southeast Oklahoma – Beaver’s Bend, Broken Bow – or at Grand Lake.

What did you get in trouble for most when you were a kid? Talking and never sitting still. I’m that way today. Even at work, I always have to be moving around.

Any guilty pleasure? Chocolate. Peanut Butter. Love a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

Can you do anything most people have to call in a professional to do? Well, I’ve attempted MANY things and then ended up having to call in a professional to do them – especially anything to do with plumbing, although I’m great at changing sprinkler heads.

What was your best subject in school? Any kind of science. I really enjoyed that.

What do you value most in your friends? Loyalty.

What do you think they value most in you? Loyalty.

What’s less important than it used to be? Material things.

What’s more important now? Family. My wife and daughter.

What do you wish you’d never thrown away, lost or given away? My grandfather passed away in 2007. I had a ring from him.

Penmanship? Not good.

What’s still on your to-do list? I’d like to go to Europe. I’d like to go scuba diving. I’d really like to jump out of an airplane, too.

What do you find funny that you probably shouldn’t? Someone tripping or running into a door or something.

What’s your favorite hole-in-the-wall in the metro? There’s a little Mexican place at 3rd and Broadway in Edmond called “3 Tequilas.” It’s great.

Early, late or on time? Never late. Usually a little early.

What should people learn to do? Be more tolerant of others.

Is there anything you absolutely won’t eat? Sour cream.

What are you constantly learning to do? To balance work and family life – finding that happy medium.

Which movie can you recite the words to? “Christmas Vacation” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

The classics. What do you bring to a crowded room? A good story.

How much worthless trivia do you retain? Quite a bit, especially weather events. I’m always comparing one to another. When you’re that connected to something, you remember it and I can remember most weather events like they happened yesterday.

What advice would you put inside a fortune cookie? Don’t worry. Be happy – let things go.

Are you hoping you’ll end up getting that fortune cookie? Well, I’m not very laid back. I’m trying to get better at not sweating the small stuff.

Ginger or Mary Ann? Mary Ann. No question.

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