TikTok star, Houston meteorologist sneaks words into weather reports
Houston meteorologist Adam Krueger was playing Wordle last year when he got the idea to sneak the game’s daily solution into his live weather reports.
Although Krueger knew no one would notice while watching it on CW39 Houston, he used it as a brain exercise to figure out how to naturally combine the word of the day with his report. Wordle is a mobile game owned by the New York Times where players have six chances to find the word of the day.
He uploaded his first video to TikTok in April — the solution was ‘HEIST’. At the time Krueger said he only had 30 followers.
@weatheradam #WordleInTheWeather #wordle #wordletok #wordletips #greenscreen #weather #meteorologist @cw39houston ♬ original sound – Adam Krueger
“If you didn’t know I was doing it, for the most part, you wouldn’t even know if you were watching it on TV,” Krueger said. “My whole purpose here is not to take away from the main weather story, but just to add some fun to it.”
He now has over 111,000 followers and his platform has transitioned from using Wordle solutions to getting suggestions from users who comment on his videos.
Fun with Texas weather
Krueger has been CW39 Houston’s chief meteorologist for just over two years, but has worked at various television stations in Texas since 2006, always making on-air fun a priority.
In 2020, Krueger was still working in Austin when he filmed his first lawnmower, where he can be seen standing in his backyard using his lawn as a green screen.
“It was when everyone was working from home. I was doing the weather from home, and it was just an idea I had and started playing with it. I put it online and it blew up,” Krueger said.
Krueger says he and his team were also the creators of the taco warning vs. taco watch — an explainer that shows the difference between a tornado warning and a tornado watch.
Original. #NationalTacoDay #TacoDay #TacoWatch #TacoWarning pic.twitter.com/wq9PIsScgh
— Adam Krueger (@AdamKrueger) October 4, 2022
Although the ‘taco warning vs. taco clock’ takes inspiration from the cupcake clock vs. cupcake warning, Krueger says he just put a Texas spin on it. #Tacowatch took off on social media and Krueger claimed two viral moments before heading to TikTok.
Krueger’s TikTok got a little traffic while he was doing Wordle summaries, but it didn’t take off until users started suggesting what he should say.
“It’s mostly song lyrics or movie references, pop culture stuff or random phrases,” Krueger said. “People always want to know if I’m going to get in trouble doing it, but everyone at work has been supportive of it.”
One of Krueger’s most recent TikToks received over 2 million views after he inserted the lyrics to Tupac’s biggest hit “California Love” into the preview.
Krueger says TikTok helps him tell weather stories to a younger, non-TV audience, but he’s not alone.
Nick Kosir, aka the dancing weatherman, is one of the most popular meteorologists on the app with over 6 million followers. Meanwhile, meteorologists Scot Pilie’ and Katie Nickolau bring creative ways to tell weather stories and provide a peak into their lives for their large audience.
“It’s the nature of how things are going,” Krueger said. “I think anything that can get people more engaged with the weather, or anything else, I think is great. I think I’ve come up with a fun way to engage some people in what otherwise wouldn’t be they were watching the weather or the news.”
Krueger, 42, said he doesn’t always know what the words users suggest he says mean and sometimes enlists his children for help.
“A lot of people have asked me to say ‘uwu,’ and I asked my kids and they knew right away what it was,” Krueger said.
Krueger doesn’t know where his TikTok content will go. For now, he plans to continue using cryptic words and phrases in his weather reports, but he’s open to changing it to keep up with his audience.
“I think some of the best meteorologists that people remember from when they’re younger is the feeling that they can be friends with them or have something similar to that person,” Krueger said. “But at the heart of what I’m trying to achieve is to tell a good weather story.”