ABC Action News/WFTS-TV Chief Meteorologist Denis Phillips was awarded the Dick Fletcher Media Award at this year’s Governor’s Hurricane Conference.
This honors Phillips for “outstanding efforts to educate and inform the public about hurricanes and hurricane preparedness, response, recovery in the state of Florida.”
Phillips has been forecasting weather for the Tampa Bay area for over two decades. He has guided viewers and followers through many storms, including the destructive year of 2004 when Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne impacted central Florida. During times of hurricane coverage, people often comment on his calm guidance, quoting his Rule #7; “Stop freaking out…until I tell you to. We’re fine.”
“All of us at ABC Action News are proud of Denis and his accomplishments,” said Matt Brown director of news at WFTS. “While he has earned many awards, including consistently being named the most accurate meteorologist in Florida, this award has special meaning. The high level of respect Dick Fletcher earned in the Tampa Bay area is indisputable and we are pleased that other professionals see that quality represented and honor it in Denis’ work in the same market.”
“It is extremely fitting Denis would receive an award focused on educating and informing the public,” said WFTS vice president and general manager Nick Nicholson. “With over two decades of guiding people across the Tampa Bay area through dangerous thunderstorms, tropical storms and hurricanes, he is always on the forefront of new technology, using all of our platforms to get the lifesaving information to our audiences where and when they need it. That is his mission. ABC Action News is proud to have Denis Phillips as our chief meteorologist and applaud him for this recognition.”
The Governor’s Hurricane Conference is the nation’s largest and best-attended conference focusing on hurricane planning. The award is named after Dick Fletcher, a well-known, 30-year forecasting veteran of the Tampa Bay Area. This is the first time a bay area meteorologist has won the award since its creation.