Ad-libbing with Abby!

By: Abby Kidder
By: Abby Kidder

Abby Kidder tries to explain what "tricklies" are and where you can find "Farkersburg" on a map!

During my past two and a half years here at WTAP, I cannot begin to tell you how many people have asked me how the "weather wall" works. Without going into too much detail, one thing I can tell you is that it works WITHOUT a prompter! The weather department is the only department where we COMPLETELY ad-lib here at WTAP (with the exception of live shots). So yes, everything you hear me say is completely off the cuff. My job is to look at the maps and tell you what's going on, on the spot.

Now grant it, I come in and prepare my forecasts every morning. However, our system continually updates itself throughout the show.

That being said, I have had my blunders! Especially on Daybreak, when I try to switch up my forecasts every half hour so I don't sound like a broken record. Some of these blunders I catch on the spot, others are pointed out to me during a commercial break. And then there are the few that I don't even realize I made until HOURS and sometimes DAYS later!

So in case you've found yourself asking "What did she just say?" The morning crew helped me clear up some of my mishaps to help you better understand what came out of my mouth in the early hours of the morning!


-My accidental combination of the words "tracking" and "east".

-My mishap: The system is losing steam as it tricklies this afternoon.


-My abbreviated version of Fox Parkersburg.

-My mishap: You can also find these school closings on our Farkersburg and My5 Stations.


-The end result after you walk through a parking lot on a rainy day and the bottom of your pants get wet.

-My mishap: (OK, lets just say it may have sounded more like making an accident in your pants.)


-As opposed to DRY rain?

5. YODA Verbiage: Cold it is!

-Versus: It is cold!

-I don't know why, but sometimes speaking as though I'm in a Star Wars movie comes more naturally to me!


-You try saying RIVER LEVELS about 10 times in 30 seconds and see what comes out! (Seriously, try it! RIGHT NOW!)


-No, the flurries aren't sick! I am just trying to say "FEW Flurries"


I actually received an email about a year and a half ago where a viewer wanted me to know that I actually said this on air:

"Since it is so cold and windy outside, watch out for pets that may have blown onto the road and it wouldn't hurt for you to bring your trash cans inside."

So there you have it! If you ever wonder why we get tripped up sometimes or things may not go as smoothly one day versus another, it's because we're human. We make mistakes and we're ad-libbing for about four minutes straight!

I do have to say I try my best to present a clear, concise and accurate forecast but I do have my off days. Don't get me wrong, the more I do it, the easier it gets, it just gets interesting at times as well!


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