CHICAGO — Mike Hamernik, who served as a meteorologist for the WGN WeatherCenter Team since 2005, has died.
Hamernik, 60, died peacefully in his home Wednesday morning from lung cancer. The announcement of his death was made by his sister, Kathleen, on Hamernik’s Twitter account.
Hamernik was the WGN Weekend Morning News meteorologist. He had been a member of the WGN WeatherCenter team since 2005 and began his Chicago broadcast career in 2002 with CLTV.
A Chicago native, Hamernik’s passion for weather can be traced back to the age of six when a microburst felled many of the large elm trees on his family’s north side block in Rogers Park. By the time Hamernik was 8 years old, he began collecting and studying weather maps provided to him by Chicago weather legend Harry Volkman.
Volkman, who was WGN’s chief meteorologist at the time, became aware of the youngster’s keen interest through Hamernik’s father, Donald Hamernik, who worked at WGN as a staff musician for Bozo’s Circus and Artists’ Showcase.
On the WGN News at 9, Chief Meteorologist Tom Skilling shared heartfelt memories of Hamernik and used to tell him, “when I want to watch a weather show, it’s your show I watch.”
On behalf of his WGN family, our deepest condolences go out to Hamernik’s loved ones.