Veronica Johnson has been named chief meteorologist at Sinclair owned Washington, D.C. station WJLA. She is the first black woman to be chief meteorologist in the station’s history.
Johnson has been the morning lead meteorologist at the station since 2016 and will work alongside Jonathan Elias, Alison Starling, Michelle Marsh and Scott Abraham on the evening newscasts.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled to have Veronica serve as our Chief Meteorologist and lead our First Alert Weather team. Her over twenty years of weather experience in the Washington area make her the ideal choice to lead our weather team,” said WJLA svp and gm William Fanshawe.
“Veronica has dedicated her career to informing our communities about the thing that impacts our families the most, the weather! It doesn’t matter if she is getting us ready for a busy day or in the middle of a flood or snowstorm, Veronica is always there. We are proud to have her lead the 7 News First Alert Weather Team,” said news director Cheryl Carson.
Johnson started her career at the Weather Channel and worked for WABC in New York City, WMAR in Baltimore and WRC in Washington, D.C. before joining WJLA. She was also the first meteorologist hired by Sinclair Broadcast Group when the company started its first newscast in 1991 at WBFF in Baltimore.
She served as Chair of the American Meteorological Association’s Board of Enterprise Communication where she facilitated science information between researchers, academia, government, and public sector groups. She served on many AMS organizations, The Advisory Board, Eyes on the Environment and Station Scientist. Additionally, she was also the emcee for Senator Barack Obama’s Special Task Force on Climate Change in 2007 and worked on Washington DC’s Joint Center Advisory Committee on Climate Change 2008-2013.
Johnson holds a degree in Atmospheric Science from the University of North Carolina at Asheville and holds the American Meteorological Society’s prestigious television seal of excellence and its rare Fellow award.
“I’ve been honored to be a part of the DMV Meteorological community for many years,” said Johnson. “The DMV is my home! I’m truly grateful and asking for your continued support from our current and our future viewers. Our entire First Alert Weather Team will continue to keep you informed and be On Your Side.”
WJLA has also promoted meteorologist Eileen Whelan to the morning news at 4:30, 5, and 6 a.m.
Whelan has been at WJLA since 2011 and is also the co-host of the station’s lifestyle show, Good Morning Washington. She also hosts its Mother’s Side segments.
“I’m so excited for this opportunity to join the 7News morning team,” said Whelan. “I grew up watching this morning show, so this is extra special for me. I’m looking forward to helping our viewers get up each morning knowing what the day’s weather will bring, so they can make the most of their day.”
Both Johnson and Whelan will continue to work alongside meteorologists Steve Rudin, Brian Van de Graff, and Jordan Evans.