New Orleans residents and members of the local broadcast community are remembering the life of legendary meteorologist Nash Roberts, who passed away on Sunday at the age of 92.
“He was a one of a kind,” said Bill Capo, a reporter for WWL. “He’s irreplaceable, there will never be another Nash Roberts in New Orleans.”
Roberts was a fixture on New Orleans TV for over 50 years. He began his TV career in 1951 with WDSU, which was the only TV station in New Orleans at the time. In 1973, Roberts was hired by WVUE. He then moved to become WWL‘s chief meteorologist in 1978, where he stayed for 23 years.
Roberts became known in New Orleans for his uncanny ability to provide accurate forecasts in the face of the city’s turbulent atmosphere. Many News Orleans viewers can still recall Roberts’ in-depth reporting on Hurricane Betsy, which slammed into New Orleans in September of 1965. Roberts accurately predicted the trajectory of the massive storm, which would become known as “Billion-Dollar Betsy” for the amount of damage that it caused.
“He truly became an icon during hurricane Betsy, everyone became locked into what Nash had to say, from Betsy on, Nash’s word was weather law,” WWL’s Capo said, in summing up Roberts’ impact.
“If a bunch of forecasters would say ‘run,’ there might be confusion,” former WWL anchor Garland Robinette said. “But if Nash said it, everybody RAN. He was the most powerful voice in broadcasting, period.”
Here’s a video from WWL, remembering Roberts’ career…