WRAL’s Greg Fishel emotional during eclipse: ‘Science is the discovery of God’s creation’

Popular local weatherman Greg Fishel got emotional during Monday’s solar eclipse – his first.

“This is incredible, folks,” Fishel, chief meteorologist for WRAL, said during his broadcast at Clingmans Dome, a mountain in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina in the eclipse’s path of totality. “This is just absolutely remarkable.”

When asked to describe the eclipse “personally and scientifically,” listeners could hear the emotion in the meteorologist’s voice.

“I’m going to try to hold it together here,” he said. “I’ve always thought that science was the discovery of God’s creation and if this isn’t an example of that, I don’t know what is.”

For most of his 36 years broadcasting the weather in the Triangle, Fishel held a contrarian view about climate change. He didn’t believe that humans had much to do with warming the Earth’s atmosphere and would say as much when the topic came up on the air.

But several years ago, he says he decided he wasn’t being open-minded about the issue and began to study what climate scientists were saying about it. He now approaches the issue on the air and on social media with the zeal of a convert and has garnered criticism from longtime viewers for it. Fishel also has been known to have strong words for climate change deniers.

Abbie Bennett: 919-836-5768, @AbbieRBennett