A young Maritime woman is sharing her love of the weather by contributing to a weekly weather forecast at Prescott House in Halifax and her enthusiasm has caught the attention of Global News’ chief meteorologist, Anthony Farnell.
Michelina DiBacco, 29, of Halifax has autism. She rides the Access-A-Bus every week to the group in Halifax for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While en route, she reads the weekly weather forecast on her phone to transit drivers who have come to count on her forecasts.
“I tell the weather off of the phone when I am on the Access-A-Bus so that they can plan their day and their week accordingly and so they can be safe,” said DiBacco.
Transit driver Nigel Smith says he is always impressed by DiBacco’s detailed weather knowledge and her enthusiasm.
“If she tells me tomorrow is going to be wet then I wear my wet-proof gear,” said Smith.
DiBacco developed a love of atmospheric science in middle school and it hasn’t wavered since.
Every Monday, she beams with excitement as she enters the Prescott group to broadcast her very own weather forecast.
“It gives me excellent self-esteem because I feel really proud telling people what the weather is going to do,” said DiBacco.
As a person with autism, DiBacco says her dream of one day becoming a broadcast meteorologist may be out of reach.
“That is the barrier with my disability because I cannot go to college, I cannot go to somewhere mainstream to do the weather,” she said.
She says that can be hard on the heart. She said her neurodiversity and anxieties can make it hard sometimes to connect with others.
“This world don’t feel like it is built for us.”
But she said chatting about a topic that impacts everyone regardless of background brings her a sense of calm and unity.
On Monday, DiBacco meet over Zoom with Farnell, who was more than impressed with her mind for science.
The two chatted at length about their lifelong love of the weather.
“When I was growing up I had it timed out so I could switch channels so I could watch every single weather report,” Farnell told DiBacco as they shared a passion for a topic that knows no barriers.