GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Bill Steffen has landed his very own T-shirt. WOOD TV8’s chief meteorologist emeritus has teamed up with The Mitten State on its newest local design.
The Bill Steffen “Blizzard Wizard” T-shirt launched Thursday and is available on The Mitten State website.
A portion of the T-shirt’s proceeds will be donated to The Boy Scouts of America, which Steffen, an Eagle Scout, selected. Steffen still volunteers his time with the organization, serving on the marketing committee and board of directors for the Gerald R. Ford Boy Scout Council.
Steffen has been a familiar face in West Michigan since November 1974 when he landed his first meteorologist job in the area. In 1978, Steffen reported on West Michigan’s largest blizzard on record. The Blizzard of ’78 spanned two days, dumping close to two feet of snow on West Michigan. Steffen helmed the forecast for 72 hours straight, bringing families updates on the worsening conditions.
“Along with the Derecho of May 31, 1998, it was the most disruptive storm of my 48-plus-year career,” Steffen wrote in a recent blog post commemorating the 45th anniversary of the blizzard. “The blizzard brought everything to a standstill. There were no cellphones and no computers. All people did was stay inside and watch television — and there I was, morning, noon and night. For a while, I was the only meteorologist on TV. Our ratings those few days were huge. Today, we have hundreds of TV channels. In 1978, I believe we had just four TV stations in the market.”
Steffen’s love of weather began at an early age. At 8 years old, he set up a weather station in his backyard and proceeded to phone in snow totals to the local TV station. His very first appearance on air was in 1967 to test the new cable TV in Winnetka, Illinois.
Steffen joined WOOD TV8 in 2001 and he remains part of Storm Team 8 as chief meteorologist emeritus. He also writes the popular Bill’s Blog, highlighting weather topics and his regular travel adventures, and appears weekly on the 4 p.m. broadcast with his Man Cave Mondays segment.
The Mitten State is a local t-shirt company that produces Michigan-inspired T-shirts, stickers, drinkware and gifts. According to the company’s website, it has donated $250,693 to date to different organizations.
To purchase a Bill Steffen Blizzard Wizard T-shirt, visit The Mitten State.