A breaking news announcement pre-empted the Monday evening weather forecast in Scranton, Pa. “We’re told Kurt’s not in the backyard because there’s… bears outside?”
At that point, nobody cared what Tuesday’s dew point predictions were going to be. Studio cameras cut to the empty weather set where, sure enough, two black bears were sneaking around. WNEP meteorologist Kurt Aaron couldn’t contain his exasperation when he made it back into the studio. “They walked right up on me,” he said, nearly breathless.
Aaron was seconds away from delivering the weather live on air when he heard a rustling in the bushes. “I hear this sound, and I turn around and the bears are literally ten feet from me. And I ran like I stole something, I’m not gonna lie,” he explained from safely inside the studio. The newscasters remained fixated on tracking the bears for more than two minutes before finally going to an abridged version of the weather.
The four bears, a mama and her three cubs, stuck around for more than half an hour, the station noted. WNEP has had an outdoor weather studio since the 1970s, a simple, foliage-covered plot with a small waterfall as its centerpiece. The station’s anchors deliver the weather forecast from the set whenever possible, barring severe weather – and, of course, animal invasions.
It’s not the first time they’ve had uninvited creatures wander through their broadcasts, though the bears were the most fear-inspiring. Foxes, raccoons and skunks have also starred in supporting roles during the station’s weather reports, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune.