Storm Track 8 meteorologist Cassie Heiter is leaving News 8 to advance her meteorological career in one of the most challenging weather forecasting regions in America: Oklahoma City.
Her last day on the air, Wednesday, August 6, was celebrated on WQAD before she starts working with the weather team at KWTV, the CBS affiliate in Oklahoma City.
The "Good Morning Quad Cities" team made sure Cassie is ready for the challenges of severe weather forecasting in "Tornado Alley" with a specialized Pinkalicious high-tech piece of equipment we think is needed for all forecasters: a safety helmet with a warning horn attached.
"I loved being here", said Cassie who joined the News 8 staff in July of 2009.
"I made a lot of good friends and memories."
But she says the opportunity of working in a larger market in a weather-intense region was too good to pass up.
"I can grow as a meteorologist and see what else I can do in this field."
She will miss James Zahara, "the best Chief (Meteorologist) ever".
"He made coming to work a pleasure."
She says she's also excited for new morning meteorologist Eric Sorensen and says he'll be a perfect fit for the Quad Cities.
As for the move to Oklahoma City, Cassie says she knows the weather will be challenging, not only to predict but to experience as well.
"They don't have as much snow, and fewer snow plows."
"Here I had times when I couldn't get home from work because everyone's cars were getting stuck in the heavy snow."
"Good Morning Quad Cities" and "News 8 at 11" made sure she is well prepared for her new job in Oklahoma City... and won't forget the Quad Cities.
Cassie says the "special tornado warning helmet" she received on-air (see video above for GMQC and below for News 8 at 11) is being donated to the Quad City Toys for Tots program.