CHICAGO (WGN) — Mike Hamernik, who served as a meteorologist for Chicago’s WGN WeatherCenter Team since 2005, has died, according to his family. He was 60.
Hamernik died peacefully in his home Wednesday morning from lung cancer, family said. The announcement of his death was made by his sister, Kathleen, on Hamernik’s Twitter account.
Hamernik was the WGN Weekend Morning News meterologist. He had been a member of the WGN WeatherCenter team since 2005 and began his Chicago broadcast career in 2002 with CLTV.
A Chicago native, Hamernik’s passion for weather can be traced back to the age of 6, when a microburst felled many of the large elm trees on his family’s North Side block in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. By the time Hamernik was 8 years old, he began collecting and studying weather maps provided to him by Chicago weather legend Harry Volkman.
Volkman, who was WGN’s chief meteorologist at the time, became aware of the youngster’s keen interest through Hamernik’s father, Donald Hamernik, who worked at WGN as a staff musician for Bozo’s Circus and Artists Showcase.