East Peoria, IL
Brian Walder has been the Chief Meteorologist at Heart of Illinois ABC since 2017. His fascination with the weather began years ago as a kid when he was afraid of lightning and thunderstorms. Growing up in the suburbs of Philadelphia exposed Brian to all kinds of weather, ranging from wintertime Nor'easters and blizzards to those then scary summertime storms. Thankfully he got over that fear, and later in life during high school made the decision to study meteorology in college after seeing a thunderstorm off in the distance while at a friend's house. That lightning strike was literally and figuratively the spark that began Brian's path to becoming a professional meteorologist.
Brian graduated from Penn State in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology. During his time at Penn State, he was a member of PSU's Campus Weather Service and appeared on the show Weather or Not. Brian was also an intern at WWAY in Wilmington, NC during the summer of 2011.
A short 10 days after graduation, Brian walked into WVVA's doors in Bluefield, WV for the first time as their new Weekend Meteorologist. A few months later, he was promoted to the Morning Meteorologist and remained in that role until he moved a couple of hours south to become the Weekend Meteorologist at WJHL in Johnson City, TN in 2014.
Brian delivered the forecasts for northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia for three years on WJHL and eventually ABC Tri-Cities before leaving the station to come to Peoria in 2017. He has been in his current role as the Chief Meteorologist since then, keeping viewers safe from severe weather to winter storms and everything in-between.
In 2019, Brian was designated as a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist by the American Meteorological Society. This is the highest distinction given by the American Meteorological Society for broadcast meteorologists and is given to those who meet the scientific and communication standards of the AMS.
When Brian isn't at work forecasting the weather, chances are you can find him trying out a new recipe in the kitchen or keeping up with his favorite sports teams. He is a die-hard Philadelphia and Penn State fan, but in particular loves cheering on the Eagles, Phillies and Penn State Football. He is a huge animal lover and has a dog named Radar (because what else would a meteorologist name his dog?).
You can catch his forecasts weekdays at 5, 5:30 and 10 on Heart of Illinois ABC!