So, Jorge, time to share!
First, tell us about growing up and getting your start in meteorology?
I was born in Austin, Texas to a Puerto Rican father and Mexican mother and was raised in the suburb of Pflugerville. Spanish was my first language before I picked up English in pre-school! I’m thankful to be fluent in both.
If I could sum up my childhood in one word, it would be baseball! I loved the game and played it any chance I could until I knew that it was time to hang up my cleats and focus on my future.
I attended Texas A&M University, where I studied both Meteorology and Spanish. There, I joined weather-related organizations, including the Texas A&M Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society, where I eventually became president my senior year. Believe it or not, I was also involved with the storm chasing group: Texas Aggie Storm Chasers!
Finally, I’m a proud brother of Omega Delta Phi, which has a chapter at ASU (1-9-8-7!)
I got my first weather gig in earnest in El Paso at KVIA-TV. Fun fact: ABC15 Chief Meteorologist Amber Sullins was my predecessor in the Sun City before moving back to the Valley. We technically worked together for one week!
After my time in Far West Texas, I went up the road to KOB-TV in Albuquerque, N.M. I served there as Chief Meteorologist for five years, learning so much about the history and climate of the “Land of Enchantment” along with eating everything with green chile, before coming to Arizona, which has been a treat! I love the fact that I’ll be able to cover weather phenomenon that includes monsoon thunderstorms, excessive heat and haboobs. There’s a diversity of weather here that many Americans may not realize, including the fact that Arizona does indeed get snow!
Favorite type of music or songs?
I can listen to almost any genre of music, but my preference is primarily Latin, hip-hop, electronic, 80s, and a little bit of country. I am a Texas kid, after all!
From Phil Collins to Frankie Ruiz, from GZA to George Strait, from Anuel AA to Armin van Buuren you’ll hear me bumpin’ it all in my car or at home.
Favorite local haunts or restaurants?
There are still many places and eateries that I have yet to explore in State Forty Eight, but I can usually be found at the abundant coffee shops in Downtown Phoenix.
As far as restaurants, Matt’s Big Breakfast is my go-to in the morning, Taco Boys on 7th St and Roosevelt for some “al pastor” almost every Taco Tuesday, and In-N-Out for two Double Doubles, fries Animal Style, and a shake.
When I want a taste of the island, I’ll go to Puerto Rico Latin Bar on Thomas for some mofongo and arroz con gandules.
Finally, Mod Pizza on 44th St & Indian School has been a tradition with Danielle Lerner, Justin Pazera (before he was promoted to the CW61 Arizona anchor desk 😀), and the rest of the weekend warriors!
Black. It goes well with almost anything!
Favorite TV shows or movies?
Family Matters will forever be my favorite show. It brings back wonderful memories from my childhood. Sanford and Son, the Jeffersons, and Good Times on Nick at Nite were some favorites as well thanks to my dad.
Now, I binge on Narcos, Breaking Bad, Arrested Development, and Parks & Rec.
As far as movies are concerned, my favorites (in no particular order): Shawshank Redemption, Scarface, Dumb & Dumber, & Hook (Rufio, Rufio, RU-FI-OOOOOOOO!)
Favorite sports teams?
Growing up, I was a big-time baseball fan, favoring the Pittsburgh Pirates, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers. Today, I also cheer for the Houston Texans, Houston Rockets, and most importantly, my Fightin' Texas Aggies. WHOOP!
I will, of course, root for our Valley teams (D-Backs, Cards, Suns, Yotes, Sun Devils), unless they’re playing the teams listed above 😉
What is something readers would be surprised to learn about you?
I love to Latin dance, especially salsa. I’m always looking for the dance spots across Phoenix and surrounding Valley communities!
Is it possible for PR people to work with meteorologists, outside of PIOs and others strictly on the weather? If so, how? A 100-degree contest? Monsoon partnership? Other?
The job of a meteorologist, at least from my perspective, is to inform the public and raise awareness of many weather hazards that affect viewers, whether it be excessive heat, flooding rains, and blinding dust storms.
With the right messaging and initiative, I can see a partnership with PR agencies that focus on these issues and get the word out! Getting people to engage and learn is a win-win in my opinion!
Contact Email: Jorge.Torres@abc15.com or follow me on social media! You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @JorgeTWeather.