Weather writer Norris remembered for perseverance over disability

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Steve Norris, who contributed a weekly Weather News column from his home in Tennessee passed away in September, the staff of The Panolian learned this week.

Norris wrote the small column for many weekly newspapers, taking National Weather Service data specific to a certain area and customizing stories for different areas across the Southeast.

Norris would also keep readers informed of upcoming astronomical events and would faithfully report the particular names and historical context for each new moon as the months changed.

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With a severe handicap, Norris built a following of readers who looked forward to his weekly work which often highlighted the all-time highs and lows of temperatures and reminded them of past weather events.

Norris abruptly stopped sending columns in September, and there was no response to emails.

Following is the obituary published by the Crossville Chronicle, his hometown newspaper.

Longtime Crossville meteorologist Steve Norris passed away Sept. 22. He was 63.

Norris has been a steady presence in Cumberland County, informing the community of local weather conditions. He was 17 when he first took to the radio waves to report the weather.

Over the past 46 years, Norris was a constant on local radio stations and published a weekly weather column in the Crossville Chronicle.

Weather was a hobby for Norris, at first. But he later earned his certification as a meteorologist.

Norris lived with muscular dystrophy since birth and was confined to a wheelchair. But friends note that his mobility challenges did not keep him down.

For the past several years, Norris used the Stone Museum at the corner of the Courthouse Lawn as an office, serving as an ambassador to the community and, when able, greeting youth on the fourth-grade Downtown Tours.

Mark Baldwin said Norris inspired his love of the weather long before he left Crossville to become a meteorologist himself.

“I remember listening to Steve Norris on the AM dial at 9 in the mornings when I was a kid,” Baldwin said. “He would give the forecast and then chat with the DJ for several more minutes.”

Since returning to Crossville, Baldwin said he and Norris continued to share weather tips and information — often very excited about the developing weather situation.

“Like me, he was like a kid at Christmas when it came to getting excited about big weather events,” Baldwin said. “Steve was one-of-a-kind, and future weather events just won’t be the same without him.”

A memorial service was held Sunday, Oct. 2, at Hood Funeral Home.