After 30 years of reporting on rain, storms, wind, snow, blizzards, hail, heat waves, waterspouts and every other type of LI-related weather phenomena with the possible exception of dust storms, Norm Dvoskin is hanging it up. The veteran meteorologist of News 12 Long Island — indeed, the most senior of all New York television meteorologists — will retire Sunday.
Dvoskin, who announced his retirement internally a couple of weeks ago, said in a phone interview Thursday, “It’s time. That’s just it. You have to be a hundred percent for this job, and sometimes I don’t feel right [and] say to myself, ‘I shouldn’t be here.’ ”
And with that, an era in New York and Long Island TV ends — a 30-year-long era, to be exact, of weather-related quips, puns, and even jokes that made Dvoskin one of New York television’s most unusual weather forecasters. His News 12 bio reads, “His unique style of mixing weather humor with precise forecasts has been extremely popular with the viewers” — an assessment most viewers probably would not dispute. Dvoskin has even written a pair of weather-related humor books, including his most recent, “Partly to Mostly Funny.”
(An example of Dvoskin weather humor? “Where did the meteorologist stop for a drink on the way home from a long day at work? The nearest isobar!”)
A longtime Melville resident, Dvoskin, 84, has been at News 12 as long as there has been a News 12 (1986), making him one of the original on-air reporters still there. Before that, he had a long career at Grumman in Bethpage — a largely nonweather-related career, in which he did research on how the environment impacted Grumman products. His arrival at News 12 was, in his estimation, both a fluke and providential — especially the latter. He had never been on TV, never even considered a TV career (the Bronx native went to Stuyvesant High, CUNY, and had a master’s degree in meteorology). But bored at Grumman, he sought part-time work at a small station in Central Islip, Channel 67 (struggling in those days, a Univision-owned station now). He was paid $12 per week, mostly to cover his gas costs. But he got some on-air experience.
He continued working at Grumman after joining News 12, although never expected to remain: “When I started, I looked around and there were a lot of good, smart, hardworking people and I said — I’m gonna get fired.”
Memories? There were a few, not all of them weather-related. “I was doing the weather on a Thanksgiving morning at a turkey farm in Huntington — it’s not there anymore — and there were these two kittens at my feet. One of them crawls up my leg and crawls under my coat, and I reached in and pulled the cat out, and said, ‘Now for the furcast.’ It was probably the best thing that ever happened to me.”
Dvoskin — father of three (grandfather of two) — plans to travel. He’s also an active salsa dancer — “I’ve been to Cuba four times” — and wants to get his tennis game back (“but my legs are shot.”). And there’s another book coming, too.
The TV gig ends, but the forecast for weather-related jokes remains bright and sunny.
News 12 Long Island is owned by Cablevision,
which also owns Newsday.