LENOX — We might not have thundersnow with this epic nor'easter, but we do have Jim Cantore in the Berkshires.
The Weather Channel star meteorologist — known for his over-the-top appearances at the most dramatic storm events throughout the United States — was spotted reporting around 6 a.m. Tuesday across from the Lenox Town Hall by Eagle photographer Stephanie Zollshan.
Cantore, a 37-year veteran storm chaser for the Weather Channel, spent more than four hours at Lenox Town Hall, starting before sunrise and appearing live twice an hour on cable.
Tracking the impacts of what the station dubbed Winter Storm Sage, Cantore described the heavy wet snowfall like “white mud coming out of the sky.”
Heavy wet snow in Stockbridge, MA. Couple inches and counting. With @StevePetyerak we will see you on @AMHQ pic.twitter.com/GWikjXTMIW— Jim Cantore (@JimCantore) March 14, 2023
Zollshan, out to get an early morning assessment of the snowstorm, saw the lights of Cantore and his crew’s shot and thought she was passing one of the Albany-broadcasters filming a segment on the snow.
She said she thought a picture of the local news broadcasters reporting on the storm would make a nice “inception” photo.
Few inches falling already outside the @TheRedLionInn in the beautiful Berkshire’s. Live w/ @JimCantore on @weatherchannel from Lenox, MA pic.twitter.com/t7aUCxisse— Steve Petyerak (@StevePetyerak) March 14, 2023
When she got closer she noticed the Weather Channel logo on some equipment and a man wearing a jacket with the name “Cantore.”
News that Cantore was in the Berkshires spread quickly online as residents logged on to social media to check the status of the storm.
In equal measure, residents posted excitedly about the meteorologist's presence inviting him to check out the snow totals in their back yards and begroaning what his presence could mean about the strength of the storm.
None of this hubbub reached Keelin Hodgkins DiMario though. At home in Lenox with her husband, Mike, Hodgkins DiMario said she woke up to the realization that the power was out at their home.
“To be brutally honest, I woke up in the worst mood this morning because I was like 'I do not want this,' ” Hodgkins DiMario said. She said she’s taken to calling this month March-ember because it feels like a second winter.
Hodgkins DiMario is in the final days of training for the New York City half-marathon. The Sunday race will be the 14th race she’s run to raise money for Project Purple, a nonprofit dedicated to increasing awareness and funding research for pancreatic cancer.
Both Hodgkins DiMario’s aunt and uncle, Cassie Ascher-Koziol and Ken Koziol, died of pancreatic cancer. She said in the course of her training she’s started a daily movement streak, committing to exercising a mile outdoors every day no matter the weather.
Around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Hodgkins DiMario and her husband decided to achieve that goal by taking their dog, Lucy, for a walk around town. As they approached the Curtis House in Lenox they caught sight of Cantore and his crew in the middle of a live shot.
“I was like, ‘Oh my god that’s Jim Cantore!’” Hodgkins DiMario said. “And then of course I thought to myself, ‘Oh no, that’s Jim Cantore; That means this storm is going to be as bad as they said.' ”
The couple paused to watch the shot and eventually Cantore’s producer walked over and said hello to Lucy. They started chatting and Cantore walked over. Hodgkins DiMario said she shook his hand and told him she was excited to meet him but also bummed for what that meant for the amount of snow Lenox would be getting.
Cantore asked if she would stick around for another segment they were filming and Hodgkins DiMario agreed. She said she joked around with Cantore during the interview, asking for a good weather forecast for the marathon next weekend. He said she shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
“If there’s one thing that’s going to make me smile about getting a giant nor’easter it’s the fact that I can cross meeting a weather legend off my bucket list and being interviewed on the Weather Channel,” she said.
Hodgkins DiMario said as soon as the shot was done, her phone began blowing up. Friends and family called to tell her they thought they saw her on TV. One friend in Ohio had the Weather Channel on in her living room and said she thought she heard Hodgkins DiMario’s voice and walked in to watch the TV. Her friend texted her blown away that Hodgkins DiMario had made it on to her TV.
Hodgkins DiMario and her husband went to Loeb’s Foodtown of Lenox and bought the crew coffee. She said they couldn’t have been nicer.
“With someone who’s so notorious and I feel like everyone knows in weather like him, it’s always so refreshing when someone is really authentically nice and you don’t have to be left disappointed by meeting somebody,” Hodgkins DiMario said. “He was just so nice.”
Hodgkins DiMario wasn’t the only Lenox resident to make the national broadcast. Shortly before 10 a.m., Cantore spoke with Lenox Police Chief Stephen O’Brien about the conditions.
“People have heeded the warnings from yesterday that this was going to get messy, heavy, wet snow, and there’s a lot of it,” O’Brien said to Cantore.
The chief noted that many trees, limbs and wires were down across the town, and “some are looking like they’re about ready to go.”
Since spring sports are starting, the chief voiced hope for a quick cleanup, but predicted that “we’re in for a couple of weeks of a lot of snow hanging around. February snuck right back in, in the middle of March.”
O’Brien credited Lenox Police Officer William Colvin for arranging the interview, though the chief said he had been reluctant to do it.
“I’ve had texts from people all over, including Florida,” O’Brien told The Eagle at the police station Tuesday afternoon.
Eagle reporter Clarence Fanto contributed to this report.