Best Of

Best Weathercaster

Jeremy LaGoo, KREM

click to enlarge Best Weathercaster
KREM photo
Jeremy LaGoo, from nightly weather forecasts into locals' hearts.

Forrest Gump, the quotable Tom Hanks character, had a knack for showing up in mid-20th century American history. Jeremy LaGoo has a similar skill of being in some of the most random places for a Spokane weathercaster.

If you're a fan of music festivals like Bonnaroo, there's a chance LaGoo sold you a corn dog. Or if you're an aficionado of trick water-skiing groups that form human pyramids, perhaps you saw LaGoo on the Portland Water Spectacular team. Like to watch downhill ski racing in Minnesota or buy used cars from a chatty salesman? Again, LaGoo's your Gump.

These are formative experiences that KREM's chief meteorologist had before he landed in his current career, which, by his own admission, he fell into unintentionally after twice dropping out of an aeronautical engineering program "because I wasn't happy doing it."

Meteorology has a close connection to aeronautical engineering, so his switch to forecasting makes sense. Being a TV weather person wasn't on his radar until a friend in Portland on that water-skiing team suggested he make a demo tape.

With KREM, LaGoo is at a station with a penchant for producing local news icons. The foremost of those is his predecessor as chief meteorologist — and winner of this Best Of category for 28 consecutive years — Tom Sherry, who retired last year.

"Tom did more for this community than I can ever think about doing," LaGoo says, referring to Sherry's forecasting and community service like Tom's Turkey Drive. "The overall shadow of Tom Sherry is too much to think about. If you try to be someone else, you will always fail."

Being himself, either selling corn dogs to festival goers or telling Inland Northwest residents what weather to expect, is something LaGoo leans into now. He knows he's not Tom Sherry or anyone else. His own personality and expertise come through on TV and in grocery store conversations when people recognize him.

"My quirky personality has kind of always been there," LaGoo says. "Even when I was going to school for nothing but science, I was still overly confident, and just an oddball. Nobody ever told me I couldn't be weird or over the top. Now it's something I have leaned into."

2nd PLACE: Leslie Lowe, KHQ
3rd PLACE: Kris Crocker, KXLY

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