TV screens in Tampa Bay will soon be without one of its most beloved meteorologists.
Steve Jerve, the chief meteorologist for WFLA-TV, Ch. 8, announced during a broadcast Monday night that he is retiring. His final day on air is scheduled for Aug. 6.
The 60-year-old newscaster made the announcement after delivering the day’s latest weather forecast and update on the tropics, something he’s shared on air with Floridians — first in Orlando, then in Tampa Bay — for decades.
“There are so many thoughts that run through your mind and so many people to thank,” Jerve said on air. “Just a big thank you, especially to our viewers because, in the end, those are our clients and I thank you so much for tuning in over the years.”
Jerve is known for his weather forecasts on News Channel 8′s 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. Recently, he garnered praise online for his coverage of Hurricane Elsa and for donning a Tampa Bay Lightning jersey as the Bolts made a run for their second consecutive Stanley Cup.
Jerve played basketball at the University of Minnesota at Morris, where he graduated with a degree in speech, according to his Channel 8 biography. He then studied meteorology at Jackson State University and Mississippi State University. He first covered tropical systems in 1992 when Hurricane Andrew struck the Bahamas, Florida and Louisiana.
A 2019 Tampa Bay Times article listed Jerve as one of Tampa Bay’s favorite forecasters. He was joined on the list by Denis Phillips, Don Germaise, Roy Leep, Paul Dellegatto, Dick Fletcher, Leigh Spann, Diane Kacmarik and his predecessor, David Grant.
Jerve could not be reached by phone Monday night. During his announcement, he quipped that viewers aren’t done seeing him just yet, as he’s still slated to deliver forecasts until next Friday.
Jennifer Leigh, an anchor at Channel 8, was a part of Jerve’s retirement announcement and was the first to announce her co-workers’ eventual retirement on social media. There, hundreds of viewers shared their praise of Jerve.
“That makes me so sad but so happy for him. He’s definitely earned it,” wrote one viewer.
“Wow. He will be missed. A Tampa legend. Went through many hurricane forecasts listening to his information. All the best to him,” wrote another.