For 34 years, Rob Perillo has helped keep Acadiana informed during hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, polar vortices, and other weather events that have come our way. Now, his colleagues from across the United States are paying tribute to his work by awarding him with one of meteorology's highest honors.

Perillo, the chief meteorologist at KATC-TV 3, recently received the John Coleman Broadcaster of the Year Award. Perillo accepted the honor during the National Tropical Weather Conference.

"Thanks so much to the National Tropical Weather Conference tonight for the John Coleman Broadcaster of the Year Award!" Perillo wrote on his Facebook page. "I’m truly humbled to be recognized by my colleagues in the meteorological enterprise. It’s a blessing to get to do what I do for a living for Acadiana/Louisiana, and within this passionate weather & tropical community. I share this with of you and my supportive family and KATC!"

Perillo actually won his award during 2020. However, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, he could not receive his honor until last week. The 2021 recipient, Margaret Orr of WDSU-TV/New Orleans, also received her award.

So who was John Coleman?

Coleman worked in television meteorology for 60 years, including a seven-year run on ABC's Good Morning America. During his time working in Chicago, he pioneered the use of chromakey technology during forecast presentations--a part of modern TV forecasting that viewers now take for granted.

In 1981, Coleman left ABC and co-founded the Weather Channel. He was forced out a year later and returned to local television. He had stints in New York and Chicago before wrapping up his career at KUSI/San Diego.

If you listen closely, you'll notice the opening music in the video below is from the same package KATC used from the late 1990s until 2021.

On Tuesday, Perillo joined the morning show team at KUSI to discuss winning the award and Coleman's legacy on meteorology.

Speaking of legacies, the one Rob Perillo has built in Acadiana is immense. You cannot mention the weather without someone bringing up his name. Some are quick to point out when a forecast may have missed, but many more are quick to say they are grateful for the times he was on the air to warn them about heavy weather approaching the area--or to give an eyewitness account to non-weather history happening in our backyard.

He's made us laugh. He's made some cry. He's even inspired some to impersonate him during Halloween and Mardi Gras.

Cheers to you, Rob Perillo! Congratulations on your award, and here's to many more years of you on our airwaves.

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