Joe Astolfi, '05

Meteorologist was able to get a head start at Terra State without incurring tuition debt

When I found out about the honors program, I thought it was too good to be true. I am eternally grateful for how it turned out." ~ Joe Astolfi

Joe Astolfi has always been fascinated by the weather. As a child, he got into a little trouble with his mother by running up her cellular phone bill by calling a weather hotline. “I watched weather reports a lot when I was a kid,” Astolfi recalls. “I always enjoyed being in tune with the weather.”

Astolfi grew up in the Sandusky area of Erie County. He later moved closer to Norwalk and graduated from Norwalk St. Paul in 2003. While he was undecided about what he wanted to study post-high school, Astolfi knew that he wanted to continue his education. “I received a message from Terra State about an honors program the College was starting,” Astolfi says. “If you lived in a certain area and had a certain grade point average, you would be eligible. After talking with Terra State advisors, I was able to cover my tuition with their very generous program.” Astolfi attended Terra State beginning in the fall of 2003 and graduate in the spring of 2005 earning an Associate of Science. “When I found out about the honors program, I thought it was too good to be true. I am eternally grateful for how it turned out.”

Astolfi took about ten months off after graduating from Terra State. “I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. In the back of my mind, I had always been interested in weather and meteorology, so I just needed some time to look around at schools that offered a degree in that field.” Astolfi ended up in DeKalb, Illinois at Northern Illinois University. “Northern Illinois had the Bachelor of Meteorology degree that I was looking for. The thing I like about the university is that it had that personable feel that Terra State did.” Astolfi did not focus on the broadcasting area of meteorology in his studies, but on the behind the scenes work. To go along with his meteorology major, Astolfi also minored in geographic information systems. That minor helped him land his first job after graduation at a map publishing company.

In 2011, Astolfi was wanting to do more with his meteorology education. As luck would have it, a friend of a friend who was an on-air meteorologist at the NBC affiliate in Rockford, Illinois, was looking to fill an opening. Astolfi put his name in for the position and was invited to the station to record a demo. He got the job and began his broadcasting career as the weekend meteorologist. Astolfi worked at the station for three years, even advancing to chief meteorologist for a short period.

  • Program icon
  • Calendar icon
    Average Length of Study

    2 years, Full time

  • Cost icon
    Average Cost




  • Employer icon


  • Job title icon
    Job Title


  • Salary icon
    Salary Potential

    Up to  $92,455*


Astolfi was looking to broaden his horizons when his dad told him about a new channel on DIRECTV. That channel was WeatherNation and it so happened that it had an opening at its Denver headquarters. “I thought, you know, I’m just going to give it a try,” Astolfi says. That try turned into a position that he started in August 2014. “I work a set shift that is four 10-hour days. If there a big event like last summer with Hurricanes Maria and Harvey that struck Florida and Houston, we are expected to work extra to help the team.” Most of Astolfi’s day is giving regional forecasts, weather stories and producing graphics. That takes up about six hours. The remainder is writing for the WeatherNationTV website and social media postings.

Astolfi’s favorite types of weather to follow and track are snowstorms and blizzards. Especially interesting is lake effect snow, since he grew up so close to Lake Erie. However, no matter what weather is happening, Astolfi understands the importance of what he does. “The eye-opening experience of covering the devastating hurricanes of 2017 made me realize what I do is important. I have to disseminate the information to people so they can be prepared, and in some cases, it is an unprecedented event.”

Astolfi can be seen giving his forecasts and weather updates from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (Mountain Time), Sunday through Wednesday. That is late afternoon and evenings in Ohio. WeatherNation is on DIRECTV channel 361 and Dish Network channel 215. It can also be found on many apps, such as ROKU and AppleTV. WTVG-Toledo is also a network affiliate of WeatherNation.

Astolfi’s family still reside in the Norwalk area. His parents are David and Susan Astolfi and his sister, Courtney, is a reporter for

*Possible salary information based on averages from