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BEST TV WEATHERPERSON Minneapolis 2005 - Ken Barlow

Readers' Choice: Belinda Jensen

When news anchor Paul Magers left KARE-11 in late 2003 for an unbelievably high-paying gig in Los Angeles, he left behind some pretty big Bruno Magli shoes to fill (and no doubt a large supply of self-tanner). Who would've expected that it'd be meteorologist Ken Barlow, and not Magers's replacement Frank Vascellaro, who would step in to become KARE's perpetually tanned Big Papa? Sure, a little glow doesn't give a weatherperson the power to see into the future. But when it's going to be 20 degrees for five consecutive days in April, it helps to hear it from a guy with an always-smiling bronzed face and a snug-fitting designer trench coat. Plus, Barlow is a science geek to the core, and when he starts spouting off about shifting jet streams and their causes, he does so with an enthusiasm even the best earth-science teachers rarely muster. While he might deliver the bad news with a constant grin, Barlow rarely Minnesota-fies the weather: Unlike most local meteorologists, he understands that "mild" doesn't mean 25 degrees and "warm" doesn't mean 30. And when it comes down to it, trustworthy meteorology around these cold parts is all about smiles and semantics.

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