Award-winning meteorologist John Morales joined NBC 6 as Chief Meteorologist in 2009. John is the longest tenured broadcast meteorologist in South Florida, serving as a reassuring presence for 26 years. He is one of very few broadcast meteorologists elected to be a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), and in what could be considered his most important scientific recognition, John earned the 2007 AMS Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Advance of Applied Meteorology.
John Morales’ accurate predictions guided South Florida viewers through Hurricane Andrew in 1992, Hurricane Irene in 1999, and throughout the numerous hurricanes in the mid-2000s. In 2005, John was honored with one of his three regional Emmy Awards for his coverage of Hurricane Wilma.
Born in Schenectady, New York of an Irish-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, John was raised in Puerto Rico and later returned to his roots in upstate New York to attend the meteorology program at prestigious Cornell University. After graduation in 1984, he became a civil servant with the U.S. National Weather Service, working in Puerto Rico, Louisiana, and Washington, D.C. During his government career, John became a Lead Forecaster before accepting a position as Chief of the South American Desk at the National Center for Environmental Predictions in the nation’s capital.
From 1991 through 2002, John served as Chief Meteorologist for the Univision Network and its Miami station, WLTV. From 2003 through 2008, he served as Chief Meteorologist for the local Telemundo station, WSCV Channel 51. While there, he became the first Hispanic to substitute as meteorologist on NBC’s weekend edition of the "Today" show, and did so multiple times.
Among his many credentials, John holds the National Weather Association and the AMS Seal of Approval for Radio and TV weathercasting, and has won the Broadcaster of the Year Award from both organizations. In addition, he is accredited by the AMS as a Certified Consulting Meteorologist and a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist.
In 1997, Morales participated in Vice President Al Gore’s White House conference on global warming and climate change. John returned to the White House at the invitation of President Barack Obama in 2014 for the release of the National Climate Assessment.
John was appointed in 2016 to another National Academies of Sciences (NAS) committee, having first served NAS between 2010 and 2012, when he co-authored the report Weather Services for the Nation: Becoming Second to None, about finding a path to modernize NOAA’s National Weather Service. He also wrote Huracanes: Conozca a Su Enemigo, a Spanish-language reference book on hurricanes in 2000.
Morales’ volunteerism extends from board of directors participation in multiple South Florida non-profits, to mentoring young scientists, to having piloted for Angel Flight Southeast, an organization that provides free flights so children and adults can have access to far-from-home doctors. John and his wife Carmen live in Coconut Grove.