10 Questions with Paul Horton

Posted By on August 27, 2020

CBS 5 chief meteorologist

1. What made you want to be a meteorologist?

I went through Hurricane Hugo during my first year of college, and it blew my university down and tore the roof off our house. I saw

firsthand how powerful Mother Nature can be, and after that, I was hooked on meteorology.

2. What’s a typical day like for you as a newscaster?

I am up early with my little ones, Jake and Samantha, and my last weather hit is around 11 p.m. First thing I do in the morning is check the forecast, especially during the monsoon season. This summer, my job was a little lame. All I needed to say is “Sunny and hot, back to you!”

3. You’re known as the “concierge of the Valley.” What would be the perfect itinerary you’d plan for a visitor?

We love it when friends come to town for a weekend. The first night, a little swim and BBQ and beers in the backyard. Saturday, a road trip to Sedona to eat lunch on the patio of Tii Gavo, which has a great view of the red rocks. On the trip back, we stop by Rock Springs for some pie, and that night we hit The Womack for some great people watching and cocktails. Sunday, it’s brunch at O.H.S.O. and back to the airport.

4. How did you get involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona?

I was a Big Brother when I worked in Spokane, Wash. My Little was Alfred. He still lives in Washington, and we keep in touch to this day. We had a lot of fun together, and even made a road trip across the country! I found out how much of an impact you can make as a mentor. I was also on the board of directors for a few years and am now on the advisory board.

5. What’s special about the organization?

Having that relationship with someone has a very positive effect on your Little’s confidence and social skills. You’re one more voice building them up to become the best they can be.

6. How did Paul’s Pay It Forward Car Wash get started?

It started in Spokane. I even did it in Cincinnati, where I worked for five years. The first year we did it here in Phoenix was 2007. It’s fun to see how much it has grown. Our first year, we raised around $6,000, and last year we raised over $210,000 for this great organization. It’s a family-friendly, community event where we wash cars for five days straight to support BBBSAZ’s mission. 

7. What’s the craziest thing that’s ever happened during a car wash?

We’ve had it all happen over the years — big storms, lost power, lost water, crazy guests stopping by. We once had a rep from Uber come by the car wash and with one click on his phone, he had 200 cars show up, which was fun to witness.

8. Why is helping BBBSAZ particularly important during the COVID-19 crisis?

Luckily, with technology, Bigs and Littles can still meet. It’s important to remind them that they have someone in their corner. While most schools, parks and gathering places are closed, it’s good to have someone reassure them that things will be O.K.

9. What are the plans for the car wash this year?

We have a plan A and a plan B. If it’s safe, we will still do the car wash at Desert Ridge, washing cars for a good cause for five days straight. That will take place from Oct. 19-23, and we will do it without crowds, with just four volunteers each shift. When folks come through the car wash, we will be asking them to stay in their car. That’s plan A. Plan B is doing a virtual car wash on air where we bring all of our guests and donors on air with us. Either way, we would love our viewers to get involved and will have details when we get closer.

10. Is there anything else you’d like readers to know?

I would like to thank our viewers for their support over the years. It’s so much fun to see them every year at the car wash. All the money raised goes to support the programs that help Littles in our community. If we don’t have a car wash this year, we will do something virtually, and I can’t wait to see everyone next year!

About Karen Werner

Karen Werner is the editor of Frontdoors Media. She is a writer, editor and media consultant. She has interned at The New Yorker, worked at Parents Magazine, edited five books and founded several local magazines. Her work has appeared in Sunset, Mental Floss and the Saturday Evening Post.