Meteorologist Chuck Lofton Loves Life in Avon
Writer / Ruth Schenk
Photographer / Kyle Duell
The alarm at his home in Avon rings at 1 a.m. when most are in deep sleep. He’s at the WTHR office in Indianapolis by 2 a.m. From then on, his day is a sprint from one newscast to the other, every appearance different and every audience unique.
In the 10-plus years that Chuck and his wife, Mary, have lived in Avon, they’ve become part of the community. It’s where they live, shop, go out to eat at favorite restaurants, go to church and volunteer.
When the Loftons moved to Indiana in the mid-‘80s, Chuck promised Mary that they’d stay for six years. Their three sons were young, and they longed for a place to belong. Soon, they never wanted to leave. Opportunities came, but no other city matched what they’d found in Avon.
“We decided if we could stay here and make a living, we’d stay,” Chuck said. “This is our home even more than where we grew up.”
Chuck’s goal as a meteorologist has never changed – to keep people safe. Forecasts are personal. Chuck doesn’t think of those who watch as viewers – he thinks of them as friends, family and neighbors. It’s the man or woman heading for work, the mom getting children ready for school, the construction worker who works outside, those on the road and those making plans.
Every day is packed. Once he’s at the station, Chuck creates the forecast as well as graphics to explain what could happen on the weather front that day. He also gives weather reports on NBC’s “The Today Show,” 95.5 WFMS-FM’s Jim, Deb and Kevin morning show and WLBC in Muncie.
The first broadcast of the day is 4 a.m.
Every segment is different.
“Weather is the number one reason people watch newscasts,” Chuck said. “Since we’re such a mobile society, the audience at 4 a.m. is different than the audience at 6 a.m.”
He often ad-libs on air. One day, it’s cradling a puppy as he does the weather; another, it’s explaining a weather pattern or threat of severe weather.
Afternoons and evenings are just as busy.
Chuck speaks at schools, writes a blog, serves on advisory boards and is the master of ceremonies at banquets and fundraisers.
Mary’s days are also busy. She is involved with Hope Healthcare Services, a ministry to help those who are uninsured. On Sundays, the Loftons worship at Kingsway Christian Church where Chuck sometimes teaches Sunday school.
Though Chuck has seen every kind of weather in 31 years, his awe is not diminished.
“It’s not just severe weather,” he said. “It’s fog on an early spring day, rushing wind on a fall afternoon or a quick burst of snow that you can actually see roll in and come down. It’s the beauty of creation that is a bit different every single time.”
Five years from now, Chuck would like to be where he is now – broadcasting the weather on WTHR, still in the middle of predicting weather.