We’re excited to give Meteorologist Matt Hefner a warm welcome to the KOLR 10 and FOX 49 family!  You’ll catch Matt during various evening newscasts throughout the week. He joins Chief Meteorologist Jamie Warriner, Meteorologist Natalie Nunn, and Meteorologist Tom Schmitt in providing the most accurate forecast in the Ozarks- as certified by WeatheRate for seven years in a row!  

Matt won’t have to spend any time getting acclimated to our region’s weather. That’s because he grew up right here in Southwest Missouri, attending Ozark schools from kindergarten through 11th grade, and graduating from Rock Bridge High School in Columbia.  He then moved on to University of Missouri where he graduated with a degree in Atmospheric Science.  

Matt explained, “As a child, it was nearly impossible to keep me indoors. I could often be found floating down the Finley River, playing ball in the street, or helping on our family farm.”

Matt’s love of the water and swimming deepened over the years.  

“I spent many summers racing against other kids from all over Southeast Missouri. Chances are, if any town in this region has a regulation pool, I’ve swam in it: Marshfield, Monett, Nevada, Carthage, Webb City, and many more. As I got older, I eventually swam for Ozark High School and was able to achieve All-State honors.”

In his spare time, Matt enjoys keeping tabs on his favorite sports teams, including the Kansas City Chiefs, the Cardinals (both Saint Louis and Springfield), and Mizzou football and basketball.  He also enjoys sampling the fine foods that can be found at local restaurants across our area.

On May 22, 2011, I was living in Ozark, Missouri. I remember hearing the tornado sirens blaring as my family rushed into the closet with as many pillows and blankets as we could muster. After huddling from the storm for what felt like hours, we were given the all-clear. Walking out of the closet we stepped outside and were greeted by a beautiful site, a double rainbow across the sky. (I’ve attached images) I remember being in awe and seeing the rainbow as a sign of the lord’s mercy while being completely unaware of the catastrophic EF-5 tornado damages that were caused only 30 minutes away. 

What I love about the Ozarks is how the community was able to come together to help rebuild, to help the ones in need.

Matt Hefner

If you see Matt out and about, be sure to give a big welcome home! You can also follow him on Facebook (Meteorologist Matt Hefner) or email him at mhefner@ozarkslocal.tv.