Matt Zaffino’s career in television stems from his love of weather.
His love of weather is rooted in his love for being outdoors and in wilderness. And also, in his high school German class. It’s there that his teacher drew weather maps on the chalkboard explaining the conditions needed to create a snowstorm and get everyone out of school for a day. He’s been making weather maps ever since.
While studying meteorology at the University of Utah, Matt interned and then worked as a weather producer at KTVX in Salt Lake City. In 1984 he moved to Traverse City, Michigan to forecast weather at WGTU, and then to Battle Creek, Michigan where he anchored the morning and evening weathercasts.
He happily returned to the West in 1985 to anchor the weather at KDRV in Medford, Oregon. In 1988 he was hired to do weekend weather at KATU in Portland. He also did environmental reporting and honed his skills in writing and story-telling for television news. He helped launch KATU’s morning news and was later promoted to the evening newscasts. In 1996 Matt left KATU to become Chief Meteorologist at KGW.
The Oregon Associated Press named him Best Weathercaster in 1994, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2002, 2006, 2008 and 2009, 2012 and 2015. In 2000, 2015 and 2016 Matt won Emmy Awards for outstanding individual achievement in weathercasting and has been Emmy nominated several other times.
In 2016 he was inducted into the prestigious National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) Silver Circle, for 25+ years of outstanding service in broadcasting in the Northwest.
He's the only person that's ever done a live television broadcast from the top of Mount Hood. Matt also reported for KGW from the Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia in 2000 and the Winter Olympics in Utah in 2002 and Vancouver in 2010. In the summer of 2004, Matt traveled to the Greenland Ice Sheet to report on climate change research, doing live radio broadcasts for KINK FM in Portland from the ice.
For several years Matt produced a Northwest Weather Calendar, combining his passion for outdoor photography with Northwest weather and landscapes. Proceeds went to local charities including the Business Education Compact. He has done many school visits over the years teaching Portland students about the science and beauty of weather. Matt’s community involvement includes work with the Oregon Humane Society, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon, Medical Teams International and The American Cancer Society. Matt also served on the Board of Trustees for the Oregon Chapter of the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society.