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Originally published June 18, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified June 18, 2008 at 1:33 AM

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Channel change doesn't cloud outlook of KIRO-TV's Rebecca Stevenson

In Seattle, new KIRO-TV chief meteorologist Rebecca Stevenson is a weather geek with a new weather center and a definition of convergence zone.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Rebecca Stevenson is wearing strappy sandals with silver sequins, the better to show off her bright red toenails. It's an optimistic choice for a typically cool, showery June morning in Seattle. But if anyone can afford to gamble on unpredictable weather in the Pacific Northwest, it's KIRO-TV's sunny chief meteorologist.

The petite blonde is familiar to local viewers after stints at KING-TV and Northwest Cable News. In April, Stevenson moved to KIRO-TV, which promptly unveiled a new weather center to boot. In a controversial move, longtime anchor Steve Raible debuted a new look of his own by shaving his mustache.

Stevenson, frankly, is kind of a weather geek; she throws around words like "hydro-meteors" (translation: raindrops). She is quick to laugh and wears less makeup than one might think. She also keeps a glass candy bowl on her desk — she has a weakness for chocolate-covered espresso beans — and has a picture of her boyfriend holding a giant fish as her screen-saver.

Live from under the bright lights at KIRO's studio, here's what Stevenson had to say about facial hair, convergence zones, the Mariners and more:

Q: So, Steve Raible. Mustache or no mustache?

A: I think no mustache. Even his wife likes it. I had to thank him for getting spruced up for me. It's the new KIRO!

Q: Why can't meteorologists ever get the forecast right?

A: People have that perception because of where they are at that time. I could say, "We're expecting scattered showers today," but you might be in Sequim and it's a beautiful day there.

Q: So somewhere in Western Washington, the forecast is correct.

A: Absolutely.

Q: What did you do during the six months you had to sit out between leaving KING and starting at KIRO?

A: Most folks would go out and party. I went to school full-time. I was taking some additional credits. I took a journalism writing class. It reminded me how difficult school is.

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Q: Are you a Mariners fan?

A: They're breaking my heart!

Q: But there's no better place to spend a sunny day, right?

A: I can watch baseball on TV, but by far the best experience is to be there at Safeco.

Q. Rain: romantic, or bad hair day?

A: I like rain. If you think of it in a literary sense or in film, you can change moods with rain. I always think of Shakespeare; he compares weather to love. It's very integrated into art.

Q: What's a more popular topic of conversation: the weather or your hair?

A: Oh, always the weather.

Q: Most common question?

A: "What is the convergence zone?"

Q: What is the convergence zone?

A. When the air flow comes from a direction that forces it to split around the Olympic Mountains, it takes the path of least resistance. The air will find that path through the Strait of Juan de Fuca and then down through Puget Sound ... (Personal note: We stopped paying attention here. Like we said: weather geek.)

Q: What's the second most common question?

A: "What are you doing this weekend?"

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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