Television meteorologist Alex Herbst has died at age 26. Raised in New Jersey, Herbst studied meteorology at Plymouth State University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in meteorology. He then attended Mississippi State University where he earned a Master’s Degree in Geosciences in May 2018. He also served as President for the local east Mississippi Chapter of the National Weather Association and American Meteorological Society.
That chapter accepted a NWA Local Chapter Award at this week’s NWA conference. The award is presented for “providing unique opportunities to career growth and improving the connection between chapter members with the local community and national organizations.” The chapter released a statement last night saying, “While today was an exciting day for our chapter, tonight we received devastating news about our former President, Alex Herbst. He began that mission three years ago and it has remained a principle to this day. On behalf of our members, we would like to dedicate the NWA Local Chapter Award to Alex. Our thoughts are with his family and friends through this difficult time.”
Today’s opening session of the ongoing NWA Conference started with a moment of silence in honor of the deceased meteorologist.
Herbst joined the Harlingen, Texas based StormTracker 4 Weather Team in June 2018, working at the Sinclair-operated CBS affiliate as a weekend on-camera meteorologist.
On his personal website, Herbst said he was a big Philadelphia sports fan. He was often spotted sporting Eagles and Phillies colors, often to the good-natured ribbing of his on-air counterparts at CBS4. An avid follower of all sports beyond Philadelphia teams, Herbst also ran a blog called “Last Word on Sports“.
Prior to working for the CBS affiliate in Texas, Herbst interned at News 12 The Bronx in New York City.
Herbst has also been active in social media, recently posting a series on Twitter of various experiments showing the impacts of summertime heat on people and objects from his newscasts. His last Tweet came less than 12 hours before his death; he showed off a beautiful sunset picture he has snapped over Texas.
Sunset after sea breeze showers in Harlingen, Texas. Can’t beat it. #RGVwx @kgbt @NWSBrownsville pic.twitter.com/Z6phLP4NXw
— Alex Herbst (@AlexHerbstWX) September 10, 2019
While the cause of death has not been made official, several media outlets are reporting he committed suicide.
Meteorologist Geoff Bransen took to Facebook to express his condolences. Bransen wrote, “Incredibly sad, but unfortunately not as shocking as it should be. This has happened multiple times in the meteorology community over the past several years. A lot of us are very passionate about what we do, so much so that we are willing to drop everything and travel to far away places so that we can break into the industry, often times succumbing to a deep loneliness due to lack of friends and family.”
If you are struggling and it seems just too much, please before doing anything, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.