Storm Team 8 Meteorologist Amanda Holly joined the team in June 2019 but is no stranger to Tampa. She was born and raised in Sarasota, Florida, and is beyond happy to be back home with her family and fiance. You can catch her forecast updates on all things digital including the WFLA app, website and social media.
Weather was second nature to Amanda growing up in Florida and being outside. She experienced the 2004 and 2005 hurricane seasons in Sarasota,which were terrifying and inspiring at the same time. This fueled her interest in tracking weather and learning how it worked as she grew up.
She attended the University of Florida (Go Gators, Chomp Chomp!) and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. She also earned a Certificate in Meteorology and Climatology. As a junior, she interned with a Boeing contractor designing a portion of the new 737 MAX fuselage but ultimately, it was her elective classes in meteorology that pushed her toward a career in weather.
She went on to study for her Master of Science in Applied Meteorology from Mississippi State University. The best class she has ever taken was a field course in storm chasing. She chased tornadoes for 10 days in the Great Plains and saw three tornadoes. One of which was classified as an EF-2, was a half a mile wide and passed just an eighth of a mile in front of her. Amanda said, “While the power of tornadoes is terrifying, the science behind their formation is memorizing; Getting to watch the storms develop and mature was amazing enough but seeing the tornadoes on the ground was unforgettable.” The course was an invaluable experience that she can use when forecasting for the rest of her career.
When Amanda isn’t tracking storms or studying for school, she loves to be outside on the water. Amanda is actually a huge fan of the heat, humidity and our tropical environment. She fishes and dives with her fiance any chance they get on either of their two boats. She is a certified NAUI SCUBA Instructor but also has several other technical certifications including cave, advanced nitrox and decompression diving. She also loves space and couldn’t be happier to be back close to the Space Coast, especially with how frequent launches are becoming.
Before Tampa, she worked at WFLA’s sister station, WBTW, in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Before that, she forecasted for four years in Gainesville, Florida, for the Florida Public Radio Emergency Network and the UF Weather Center.