Perham boy is latest 'Weather Kid'
Two weeks ago, Perham eighth grader Blake Franklin got some exciting news from his mom, Rhonda: "Guess what? You are going to be on live TV next week!"
The following Thursday evening, Franklin spent about five minutes helping Hutch Johnson give the weather forecast on Valley News Live at Five on KVLY/KXJB Channel 11.
"It felt like hours," Franklin said of his experience in an interview Monday. "It's a lot harder than it looks."
Franklin got the opportunity to be on TV thanks to his aunt, who had submitted his name into a drawing to be the next Scheels Weather Kid.
Last Thursday, the day of the broadcast, Franklin left school a couple hours early and traveled to Fargo with his mom and little brother, Ryan. They were given a tour of the studio, and then Franklin participated in a practice run before going live.
During the forecast, Franklin helped by reading temperatures around the area, discussed radar results and explained wind speeds and direction. Franklin gave the forecast for the entire week for the Perham area.
He said there were a lot of things that surprised him about the studio.
For one, the graphics and maps that TV viewers see behind the weatherman aren't actually visible on the other end of the screen. So when a weatherman points to a temperature or location on a map, he is actually just pointing at a spot on a green wall behind him. Franklin said he had to look at a screen off to the side to know what to point at.
For another, there are certain hand motions weathermen use while on air, and they also do the "weatherman shuffle" - moving from one side to the other so their bodies don't block the map for viewers.
Franklin said, "When the guy is actually up there, it takes a lot of practice to keep words flowing."
After it was done, Franklin felt a little embarrassed and nervous about all the attention he got at Prairie Wind Middle School when the news broke about his TV time.
"It's just the weather, it's not a Grammy or anything," Franklin said.
The Scheels' Weather Kid program allows kids ages 8-18 to participate in a live weather broadcast at Valley News Live at Five. One name is drawn at random each week.