As chief-meteorologist at KSHB-TV, Gary Lezak has long been a household name in Kansas City. More recently, however, Lezak’s passion for weather and his entrepreneurial vision have motivated him to pursue new projects – projects driven by a desire to make a larger contribution to the field of meteorology – and not just in Kansas City, but around the world.
Specifically, Lezak founded Weather2020, LLC ten years ago.
The goal of Weather2020 is to share Lezak’s breakthrough in weather forecasting: a way to provide advanced warning of weather events using an innovative weather forecast method that has achieved incredible forecasting accuracy rates over the past few years for forecasts 200 days into the future!
Lezak is also a published author, having released It’s a Sunny Life: An Adventure Fit for Rain or Shine! in 2016.
Blogger Local had the opportunity to catch up with Lezak and learn more about his journey as an entrepreneur and how blogging became a foundational part of Weather2020 and his career with KSHB-TV.
He also shared news that his 30 years of research was recently published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
The Path to Meteorology
Lezak was always on the path to meteorology. His love of the weather began as early as five years old and continued throughout his childhood.
“I learned about the upper level winds of the atmosphere while I was growing up and kept a weather calendar,” he tells Blogger Local. “The Star Wars Calendar of 1978, I believe it was the first calendar I began writing my weather entries.”
After graduating from the University of Oklahoma in 1985, Lezak began his television career.
Even though studying and working on meteorology were things he was interested in from a very young age, being on TV came as a surprise to him.
It was never something he thought he would do, but after a break here and a break there, suddenly he became a popular weatherman.
“In 1992, I moved on to Kansas City and I’ve been the Chief Meteorologist at KSHB-TV since 1999,” he adds.
Passion Drives Discovery
While Lezak’s TV career was thriving, his love for studying weather was playing out in other ways. For as long as he can remember, tracking the weather has been his passion, and it eventually led him to make the discovery that would become the basis of Weather2020.
“Thirty years ago, the 1987-1988 winter, I noticed something incredible happening in the upper levels of the atmosphere,” he tells Blogger Local.
“There was actually ‘organization’ to the chaos in the atmosphere. So I started learning about it, studying it, and 30 years later…we have now developed a new weather forecasting method and system.”
That system is the LRC, coined by weather bloggers of the early 2000s after his name (Lezak’s Recurring Cycle). Weather2020 uses cycling weather patterns to make amazingly accurate weather forecasts from the next day to many months into the future.
Their predictions have become so accurate, in fact, that it’s become Weather2020’s mission to share this methodology with the world to help save lives and mitigate losses from weather sensitive companies.
Although Weather2020 was founded nearly a decade ago, Lezak and his company are ready for growth – and their recent accurate predictions of major weather events are making people and major corporations take notice.
“We just made a weather forecast of major hurricane, Harvey,” he says. “The major disaster Harvey was predicted 55 days before it even had a cloud, and then we predicted it would become a major hurricane in front of a large insurance company three weeks before it happened.
We had already made high profile forecasts in the past…So, we’ve been making these accurate forecasts for years with our knowledge of the cycling weather pattern.”
As grateful as Lezak is for his successful, three-decade television career, he passionately believes he has something bigger to share with the world and that passion has driven his hard work on Weather2020.
“That’s what my entrepreneurial effort is all about,” he says. “Getting this technology in the hands of meteorologists around the world so they can improve their weather forecasting for not just the next few days, but up to 300 days in the future.”
A Sunny Life
In addition to his work at KSHB-TV and his entrepreneurial endeavors with Weather2020, Lezak released a children’s book in the summer of 2016 called It’s A Sunny Life: An Adventure Fit for Rain or Shine!, which combines his passion for weather and his love for dogs.
“I love my dogs and Sunny is now 3 years old. All of the dogs in my life make appearances in this beautiful children’s story. I’ve had weather dogs Windy, Storm, and Breezy before Sunny, and the book’s about Windy, Stormy, and Breezy adopting this dog in…and Sunny becoming part of the family. Of course, there is a big weather element to the book.”
A Love of Kansas City
When Lezak isn’t caught up in his many professional aspirations, he loves to be involved in our city. He is a big supporter of Kansas City sports teams. His favorite restaurant is Thai Orchid, where he regularly orders their Peanut Butter Chicken.
Lezak also makes his health a priority, working out regularly with his personal trainer David Schlossman, owner of Results Personal Fitness. “He helps me stay in top condition,” says Lezak.
Lessons in Entrepreneurship and Blogging
As Lezak works diligently to get his forecasting methods and systems out into the world, he has had the chance to learn a lot about being an entrepreneur. This biggest lesson, perhaps, has been the importance of surrounding yourself with the right team that can help you take your idea and transform it into a successful business.
When it comes to marketing, Lezak has been pleasantly surprised by blogging, it’s early start on the digital landscape, and how it has continued to be a major way to get your message out into the world – even with the rise of social media.
“We started the Action Weather Blog at KSHB back in 2002 or 2003, before the social media explosion,” he says. “Yet blogging has survived to this day. Blogging thrives if you have something that you are passionate about, to blog about, and you connect with your audience every single day.”
Between the KSHB-TV Action Weather Blog and the Weather2020 blog, Lezak and his team blog 365 days a year, sometimes more than once a day. “My childhood weather calendars were likely the seeds for blogging,” says Lezak.
He personally does much of the blogging with help from KSHB-TV Meteorologist Jeff Penner when he takes time off. From his blogging success, he offers advice for beginners and local businesses hoping to make their mark in the blogging world — be passionate about your subject matter, keep connecting with your audience, and make sure what you are sharing with your audience is unique.
“It’s fascinating to see how blogging has continued to grow…I think it’s because you get your niche audience. You get your audience that loves your topic, that wants to hear what you have to say…If you have something that you have to share, whether it’s some kind of culinary effort of yours or some kind of other interest or business, you can start a blog and be successful at it.”
You can share in Gary’s blogging experience by reading the Action Weather Blog at KSHB.com and share in the comments section on Weather2020.com’s daily blog posts. The new weather pattern has just set up and Gary will share the accurate forecasts and discussion as we move through 2019.