Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has spent his entire life and career right here in southeast Michigan. He was initially terrified by storms, but fear transitioned to fascination after his second grade teacher took him to the school library and pointed out a section of books about weather. The more Paul read about thunder and lightning, the more interested he became and, at the tender age of seven, he announced to his family that he was going to be a weatherman someday? at Channel 4!
Paul studied meteorology at the University of Michigan Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Science?an extra-challenging curriculum due to its location in the prestigious College of Engineering. During his sophomore year, WDIV meteorologist Mal Sillars selected Paul to be the first ever weather intern in station history. In the middle of his senior year, WDIV news director, Bob Warfield, took a chance and hired Paul to a part-time, off-camera position. Later that year, Paul added the on-air weekend meteorologist position at WJIM-TV (now WLNS-TV) in Lansing, and two years later he also earned the back-up meteorologist position at WKBD-TV when its Ten O?Clock News started. By 1986, Paul was working on the air at all three television stations at the same time?and occasionally on two of those stations on the same day!
His passion for meteorology quickly earned him recognition among his peers, as Paul became one of the youngest meteorologists ever selected to serve on the American Meteorological Society?s Board of Broadcast Meteorology in 1987, and was named chairman in 1990. But it is Paul?s science and environmental reporting that has helped change the paradigm of broadcast meteorology.
Early in his career, Paul started pushing producers to let him work on science stories. Since that time, Paul has researched, written and produced eight half-hour documentaries for WDIV, partnering with Director of Meteorology Chuck Gaidica on these projects, as well as on many individual stories. During this time, Paul kept preaching to his colleagues at conferences about the need to do more of the same type of work. Meanwhile, his work started earning Emmys and other awards?and even national attention when his documentary, ?Forecast: Overlord,? the story about the weather?s impact on D-Day in World War II, was deemed so historically significant that it was added to the D-Day archives at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, the British Meteorological Archives, and the permanent collections of the Museums of Television and Radio History in New York and Chicago.
The American Meteorological Society recently acknowledged that broadcast meteorologists needed to evolve into overall ?station scientists,? and selected Paul to chair its new Committee on the Station Scientist in 2006, a position he still holds today. Paul leads the AMS? national campaign to encourage and enable broadcast meteorologists to add more science and environmental material to their broadcasts.
One of Paul's most important professional accomplishments occurred after discovering in 1997 that Michigan law did not require public schools to conduct tornado safety drills. Paul contacted a state legislator, who agreed and introduced legislation to amend state law to require tornado drills. Paul testified before the State House and Senate Education Committees about the tornado threat in Michigan, and later joined Governor John Engler when the "Gross Weather Bill" was signed into law.
A court qualified expert in meteorology, Paul also consults with the legal community in litigation involving weather or related sciences, and has testified in over three dozen trials since 1986. Paul and his wife, Nancy, have two sons and three goldfish.