After 34 years on the air at WKBW-TV Channel 7 in Buffalo, Tom Jolls has retired from the job that made him one of the most familiar faces and voices in all of Western New York. His immediate plans are to travel cross country with his wife, Janice, when they're not sticking close to home in Friendship, NY.
Jolls, along with news anchor Irv Weinstein and sports anchor Rick Azar, was a nighttime fixture for three decades. As the host of the "Weather Outside," Jolls would stand out in the elements to report on the conditions, and somehow, that made it clearer when you saw the man shivering or blowing around on the air.
Although his main job was as weatherman, he also was the avuncular "Commander Tom," hosting the children's sketch and cartoon show "Rocketship 7." As the only local host of a kids' program for years, an entire generation grew up with a very special local hero.
In 1997, Jolls turned his attention to chronicling some of the legendary highs and lows of Western New York weather. As he put it in his introduction, "I thought about a book dedicated to weather trivia. Where one could find a fact about Buffalo's weather in a matter of moments." The result is the Western New York Weather Guide.