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Warrior class: DFW TV's pre-dawn storm troopers get their marching orders in "just absolutely icky" weather


Front yard trees and Christmas lights at unclebarky.com central in Garland absorbed a bad beating Friday morning. Photos: Ed Bark

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Icy roads, crashing tree limbs, power outages and sub-freezing temperatures made for anything but a perfect storm Friday throughout North Texas.

It’ll be a brighter picture ratings-wise, though, particularly for the early morning newscasts on Fox4, NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11. Viewing levels invariably spike upward whenever weather strikes hard. So all four stations began their heavy-duty coverage even earlier than usual before dumping out of regularly scheduled network or syndicated programming as the morning wore on.

While anchors, weather casters and traffic reporters stayed toasty within station studios, more than a dozen-and-a-half under-sung reporters fanned out into what CBS11 reporter Elizabeh Dinh memorably termed “just absolutely icky” weather.

It’s grunt duty to be sure. Waiting for your next live shot in the bitterly cold pre-dawn is no dream assignment, even if more viewers notice and some even appreciate your efforts.

TV news stations seldom err on the side of understatement during such times. So yeah, some of these reports can be more dramatic than they need to be. But from the early morning confines of unclebarky.com central -- to the accompanying sounds of tree limbs falling in the front yard -- this is an effort to spotlight each and every one of these early morning storm troopers.

Some of their outfits may look a little funny. But that’s part of the fun. Some of the faces are blurry, too, but that’s the way they appeared on-air through rain-dotted or fogged camera lenses.

Fox4 had the fewest out-in-the-cold reporters (two) while NBC5, WFAA8 and CBS11 each had five. If I missed someone, my sincere apologies. Otherwise, here we go:

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Grizzled vets: CBS11’s Bud Gillett and WFAA8’s Jim Douglas have earned the right to wear their trademark lousy weather homburgs.


Left to right for NBC5: Amanda Guerra, Chris Van Horne, Kendra Lyn.


Fox4’s LaToya Silmon couldn’t help but be in bit of a fog.


A meteorologist for all seasons: CBS11’s Jeff Ray was the only one to get out in the elements. But he didn’t dare do it in shirtsleeves.


An impressionist painting of WFAA8’s Shon Gables at the airport.


Snow day for NBC5’s Denton-venturing Jeff Smith.

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WFAA8’s Marcus Moore courted a head cold by going topless while Fox4’s Dan Godwin went minimalist with official station ball cap.


CBS11’s Elizabeth Dinh of “absolutely icky” weather fame.

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”Multimedia journalist” Sebastian Robertson of WFAA8 and CBS11 reporter Arezow Doost via the station’s “Mobile 11” cam.


NBC5’s Ray Villeda could pass for one of those firemen behind him.


CBS11’s Stephanie Lucero fights off teeth chatter at frigid airport.


WFAA8’s David Schechter wins the prestigious “All Bundled Up But Still Looks the Coldest” award. A big tip of that hat to him.

Email comments or questions to: unclebarky@verizon.net