TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Jeff Berardelli, WFLA’s chief meteorologist and climate specialist, has been named the top local TV meteorologist in the country by international media group Broadcasting + Cable.

Berardelli was selected for the honor by the Broadcast + Cable editorial team, who cited Berardelli’s “strong, viewer-driven efforts” in 2022. Most recently, that included his coverage of Hurricane Ian and Hurricane Nicole.

“For Jeff to be recognized is a great honor. But the true winner is really the Tampa Bay community, who deserves the best weather coverage in America,” WFLA and WTTA-TV Vice President and General Manager Mark Higgins said. “As Tampa Bay’s on your side station, we are proud to deliver on that promise.”

His coverage during Hurricane Ian was one of the accomplishments that stood out to Broadcasting + Cable. As Floridians all along the Gulf Coast watched the storm trek closer toward the state, Berardelli and his team launched an exclusive tool called the “wobble tracker” to provide real-time updates on the forecast track. The “wobble tracker” was brought back for Hurricane Nicole, and was able to identify two significant wobbles that impacted where the storm made landfall.

Other accomplishments included his work on the Emmy-nominated “Surviving the Storm” hurricane special that helped keep viewers informed on what threats the Tampa Bay area faces from tropical cyclones.

Soon after starting at WFLA, Berardelli also launched a Climate Classroom section on WFLA.com to educate viewers on the changing climate in the region and how it impacts them.

“I am very grateful for this honor, and also to have the privilege to serve the Tampa Bay area,“ Berardelli said. ”It is gratifying to know that my efforts to pass along my lifelong passion for weather and climate are making a difference.”

Berardelli has led the Max Defender 8 weather team since January 2022. However, he’s no stranger to Florida – or to the Tampa Bay area. He previously worked in Tampa from 1997 to 2003, and also spent time as a meteorologist in West Palm Beach and Miami.

Before joining WFLA, Berardelli was a meteorologist at CBS News in New York. Despite being away from Florida, he still covered the state’s severe weather by reporting on and leading coverage of 2018’s Hurricane Michael, 2019’s Hurricane Dorian and the record-breaking 2020 hurricane season.

Viewers in the Tampa Bay area can watch Berardelli every weeknight during the 5, 6, 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts on News Channel 8.