GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — WOOD TV8 is pleased to announce the transition of Storm Team 8’s Chief Meteorologist role to Ellen Bacca. Bacca is the first female Chief Meteorologist in West Michigan.

This year, Bill Steffen celebrates the start of his 21st year at the station and his 47th year in the Grand Rapids market. Upon this achievement, Bill will take on the role of Chief Meteorologist Emeritus, allowing more flexibility with his family while staying on to contribute his expertise to WOOD TV8 and the West Michigan community.

“Forty-six and a half years ago, I began this wonderful story and after making nearly 10,000 forecasts, it’s time to move to begin a new chapter. If I had to sum up my career in one word it would be ‘grateful,’” Steffen said, adding, “Ellen is not only an excellent forecaster, but she’s totally geeked about weather! She’s proven she can do an amazing job tracking severe storms. Along with Terri, Matt and Emily, we’ll continue to bring West Michigan your best weather forecasts.”

Bacca started with WOOD TV8 in 2014 and has won Emmys for Best Weathercast and Weather Anchor in Michigan, as well as Best Weathercast from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters.

She was selected as one of the only broadcast meteorologists in the country to participate in the National Severe Storms Laboratory Hazardous Weather Testbed study to test the next generation of tornado and severe storm warnings.

Each year, Bacca also teaches kids about science at WOOD TV8’s exclusive and interactive Weather Experience. Learn more about her here.

“Bill Steffen is a legacy man at one of the most respected legacy stations in the country,” Bacca said. “I have been fortunate enough to work alongside him and to learn from him over the past seven years. The team of meteorologists at this station is unmatched and I am honored and determined to uphold that Storm Team 8 legacy of integrity and excellence. I am ecstatic to be called Chief of such an outstanding power-house team.”

Bacca will take over as the main meteorologist at 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on weekdays.

In his new role, Steffen will remain a a key member of Storm Team 8. You can catch him on air on News 8 at 6 p.m., 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. on weekends and he’ll continue to update Bill’s Blog.

The official transition takes place Monday.