Mike Thompson was born in Wichita, Kansas, and grew up in Burlington, Kansas. He graduated from Burlington High School in 1975. He is the president of Mike Thompson LLC. He retired as Chief Meterologist on Fox 4 WDAF-TV in Kansas City. Missouri in 2018.
Thompson studied meteorology in the United States Navy, and after graduation was assigned as a weather observer/forecaster aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Lexington until 1979. He began his television career in Oklahoma City, at KOKH-TV and KWTV. He then moved to WPCQ-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina. In 1983, Mike became the chief meteorologist at KCTV in Kansas City, where he worked for 9 years.
In 1992, he moved to WDAF-TV in Kansas City (now known as FOX4) to replace the legendary Dan Henry, who was retiring. Mike was the chief meteorologist there for 27 years from January 1992 to December 2018, providing weather for the 5, 6, 9, and 10 PM newscasts. Mike is a holder of the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Seal of Approval. The seal is given to those broadcast meteorologists who display an excellence in presenting their weather program to viewers in a manner that enhances the science of meteorology. In 2006, he earned his Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) accreditation. The CBM program certifies that the holder meets specific educational and experience criteria, and has passed rigorous testing in their knowledge and communication of meteorology and related sciences, needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist. The CBM seal is awarded by the AMS.
In 1981, Thompson was one of the first three weather forecasters in the United States to use Doppler radar on air. In 1997, he was one of 100 meteorologists from across the United States to be personally invited by President Clinton to attend a Global Warming conference in Washington, D.C. During that same year, he received an Emmy nomination in the category of “Weathercaster.” In 1994, Thompson was recognized in a national publication, as one of the “top 15 best local weathercasters” in the country. Thompson ranked among other weathercasters from markets as large as Boston, Washington, D.C., Dallas, San Francisco, and Chicago. Mike was a recipient of the Kansas City Media Professional’s “Best TV Reporter-Weather” for 1988, 1991, 1993 and inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994.
Thompson originated, organized, wrote, and produced “Weathering the Storm” an educational weather show designed for school children, for 20 years ending in 2018. Hundreds of thousands of children have attended the program, held each year at Kauffman Stadium, in conjunction with the Kansas City Royals. Between 2006 and 2014, he won six Emmy Awards for his meteorological work on-air and in for his work producing the weather show for School Day at the “K.”
In 2008, Thompson was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Silver Circle at the Mid-America 2008 Emmy Gala in St. Louis. Every year NATAS inducts television professionals with 25 or more years of outstanding service in television into the prestigious Silver Circle. Off camera, Thompson enjoys reading, economics, politics, water sports, music, playing the guitar, and BBQ!
He joined The Heartland Instiute’s Board of Policy Advisors in 2019.