Murphy fulfills dream as meteorologist

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While thunder and lightening intimidates some people, the natural phenomenon intrigued Kweilyn A. Murphy.

“When I was a little girl my grandma had us turn off the television when there was a thunderstorm. I was taught to wait until the storm was over,” said Murphy, 30, who hails from West Mifflin but currently lives in Greenville, NC.

KweilynMurphy
KWEILYN A. MURPHY

The workout enthusiast’s natural on-air talent led her to become a television reporter.

“I knew I didn’t want to do news because it was too serious. I’d cry along with the victims while delivering news on my own area,” she said. “I wanted to do something that would help other people. I knew my spirit wasn’t comfortable doing news.”

She graduated from Ohio State University in 2001 with a degree in broadcast journalism with a specialty in children’s television.

After graduating, Murphy landed work at WQED. She worked with “Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood” and did freelance production and Web work and event planning at the station.

Although she found her work at WQED rewarding, her love of weather that had nagged at her since her junior year at Ohio State University, cropped up again and kept coming up.

“I didn’t understand that it was a passion being born in me. In school we had a chalkboard and we would put sun decals on it. My interest in meteorology never died. It was planted in my head,” she recalled. “I knew I was restless and there was something else I wanted to do.”

That interest became more and more apparent to Murphy who decided to approach her mentor, talk show host, Chris Moore, to help her find a good meteorology school.

“I knocked on Chris’ door and told him that I wanted to go to meteorology school. He told me about Mississippi State. I applied and got accepted. I didn’t think about what was necessary. I wanted to be a meteorologist and I just knew I had to do it,” she said with a smile.

That determination is what caught Moore’s eye when he met Murphy as a teenager.

“I reach out to a lot of young people and she had that stick-to-it-ness. She said she wanted to go to school for meteorology and I told her to go for it and that she should not take no for an answer. I think she’s made the right decision for herself. She is a fine young lady and I am proud of her,” Moore said.

Not long after graduating from Mississippi State last year with her certificate in metrology, Murphy got a job as a part-time meteorologist at KDKA-TV. She filled in for the station’s meteorologists when needed.

Murphy felt that her passion was finally being realized.

“There are 210 television markets and I went to the Pittsburgh market, which is market 26. That was definitely God’s plan,” she said. “My shift started at 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Lynn Hayes-Freeland and Brenda Waters and Olga George helped me tremendously! They helped me get my clothes together.”

God’s plan continued when Murphy recently accepted a full-time job as a meteorologist at WNCT-TV a CBS and CW affiliate in Greenville.

“This is so amazing to me at this age. I didn’t think I’d have the opportunity to be a trailblazer, but to be a part of that brick laying is majestic,” Murphy said. “My faith was crucial and critical through this journey. I was taught you have to produce and grasp the opportunities that are out there. Don’t let anything stop you.”

Murphy’s mother, Yvonne, is very proud of her “Sunshine Girl” as she affectionately calls her daughter.

“Kweilyn’s quick rise in her field was God’s Divine plan. My husband and I raised our children in the church and Sunday school. The Bible says ‘raise up a child and when they are grown, they shall not depart.’ I am happy she is living her dream and there are more dreams to come,” Yvonne Murphy said.

In the role of meteorologist, Murphy has a responsibility to communicate effectively to viewers the weather forecast so they can be safe and aware at all times. She is on air for a total of about four minutes throughout a total newscast. Her weather segments last about two minutes.

When she isn’t dazzling people with her sunny personality on television, she enjoys watching movies on TBS and hanging out with her friends.

“People work but I have a career now. I love it! This is the first time in my life that I don’t know what’s next for me, but I know God has something else,” she said.

And the “Sunshine Girl” is definitely up for the challenge.

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