Wednesday, October 5, 2022
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Local Radio Weather Icon Steve Norris Passes Away At 63

Cumberland County’s Steve Norris, who had forecasted the weather and kept local residents informed, has died at age 63.

Long-time friend and Star Recording Studio Owner Tony Perry said Norris has been an institutional figure in radio meteorology for the last 46 years. Norris died after complications from a long bout of pneumonia at Cumberland Medical Center Thursday morning.

“The only word I know is ‘icon’ both in the weather community and in radio for the past four and a half decades,” Perry said. “He was beloved, he loved everybody, he had a great sense of humor. He never once mentioned or complained about his disability. He only wanted to talk about the weather. And when Steve talked, people listened.”

Perry said he was the first person to put Norris on the air when Norris was just 17.

“We had a bad storm coming up and this guy called me up who I didn’t know and he said, ‘Hi this is Steve Norris do you want me to tell you about the weather it’s going to get pretty bad,'” Perry said. “And I said, ‘Well what do you know about it?’ And he said, ‘I study the weather a lot, it’s a hobby of mine.’ And I said ‘What the heck!’ And I threw him on the air live, and he did a great job.”

Perry said after that Norris grew to become a voice of comfort to listeners during bad weather.

Though he started as a hobbyist, Norris eventually went on to get his meteorologist certification. Perry said that Norris even became a source of knowledge for other meteorologists in the state, from Crossville to Knoxville. He said that Norris even made predictions missed by the National Weather Service itself.

Perry said Norris had lived his whole life with muscular dystrophy disease, but that he never let it hinder him.

“Confined to a wheelchair all of his life and had hardly any mobility at all,” Perry said. “And yet he took the challenge by the horns and he made do. So I don’t begrudge him at all paradise, but selfishly I am going to miss him very, very much.”

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