CBS 2 News Chicago's weather forecast model — First Alert — helps digital users and traditional television viewers stay on top of Chicago's dynamic weather.
As CBS 2 Chief Meteorologist Albert Ramon explains, First Alert Weather is not a slogan. It is a promise and a commitment from the CBS 2 newsroom every day to be the first to tell Chicagoans about the forecast to help them plan their lives.
Read more about the CBS 2 First Alert team below:
Albert Ramon is the chief meteorologist for CBS 2 Chicago. Albert joined CBS 2's Weather Team in October 2021.
Before coming to CBS 2 News, Albert was chief meteorologist at the News Nation Network based in Chicago. While at the network, he covered landfalling hurricanes, blizzards, wildfires and tornado outbreaks for the entire country.
Albert also spent more than a decade at KVUE-TV in Austin, Texas, where he served as chief meteorologist. While in Austin, Albert won two regional Emmy Awards and several Associated Press Awards, including for Best Weathercast.
Before Austin, Albert also worked in Corpus Christi, Texas, at the CBS affiliate, where he also served as a chief meteorologist.
Albert holds degrees in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University and in Communication/Media Studies from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.
Albert has earned Seals of Approval from both the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association.
You can watch Albert's forecast weekdays on CBS 2 News at 6 and 10 p.m.
Mary Kay Kleist
Meteorologist Mary Kay Kleist can be seen on CBS News Chicago and weeknights on CBS 2 News at 5 p.m.
Since joining the station in 2002, Kleist became a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist , which is the industry's highest distinction. In addition to earning several local Emmy Awards at CBS 2 — including three Emmy Awards in 2015 for coverage of the April tornados, a severe weather special and best on-camera weather anchor — Kleist has been awarded an AMS Seal of Approval and an NWA Broadcasting Seal of Approval.
Kleist has been a meteorologist for print, radio and television broadcasts for more than 25 years. She first worked in Chicago from 1994-95 as a weather anchor for WGN-AM Radio and CLTV. However, she joined CBS 2 Chicago from WXYZ-TV in Detroit, Michigan, where she had worked as a meteorologist since 1999, reporting weather for the station's weekend newscasts.
Prior to her work at WXYZ-TV, Kleist worked in Tampa, Florida [1995-99], as the meteorologist for WFLA-TV. There, she also reported the weather for The Tampa Tribune, the local edition of CNN Headline News and served as weather anchor at WFLA-AM Radio.
Kleist began her career at WJCL-TV in Savannah, Georgia [1992-94], where she worked as the weekend weather anchor, a health and general assignment reporter, news anchor, photographer, editor, as well as anchor of the local edition of CNN Headline News.
Kleist graduated, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Central Florida in 1992 with a B.A. in Radio and Television and later graduated from the Broadcast Meteorology Program at Mississippi State University.
Laura Bannon is the weekday morning meteorologist. A native of Chicagoland, Laura grew up in Naperville. She is an Emmy nominated meteorologist and holds her NWA Seal of Approval.
Upon graduating Neuqua Valley High, Laura attended the University of Missouri. While completing a degree in communication at Mizzou, Laura attended Mississippi State University distance program and obtained a Bachelors of Science in Geosciences.
In college, Laura landed her first on air job in Jefferson City, Missouri. Laura worked weekends at KRCG her senior year and secured her first full time broadcasting job at WBBJ in Jackson, Tennessee. From there, Laura went on to serve on weather teams in Wichita, Kansas, Dallas, Nashville, and currently Chicago, experiencing a variety of severe weather markets across the country.
In the nearly 10 years as a meteorologist, Laura has covered many severe weather outbreaks. One weather event she'll never forget is the 2020 Nashville tornado. Laura was the meteorologist on duty when an EF-3 tornado ripped through downtown Nashville, killing 24 people. Laura and her team were nominated for a 2020 Emmy in the Breaking News category for their extensive coverage.
Along with the weather, one of Laura's passions is helping others with disabilities. In each of her residencies, she has volunteered at therapeutic horseback riding centers. An equestrian since a young girl, Laura uses her knowledge to assist children with physical, emotional, and behavioral disabilities learn how to ride horses. She has found it to be a life-changing experience working one on one with these children and watching their progress week after week.
After work, Laura enjoys working out, going to the gym daily, training for Cross Fit events and taking long walks outside.
Robb Ellis is the weekend evening meteorologist for CBS 2 Chicago.
Originally from Columbia, South Carolina, Robb grew up in the heat of the Southeast. He began studying at the University of South Carolina before transferring to North Carolina State University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology from N.C. State.
Robb began his television career at WFMY in Greensboro, North Carolina, as weekend meteorologist. He's since been the lead meteorologist of several weather teams in the Midwest and Carolinas.
In hurricane alley, he led the weather team at WECT in Wilmington, from 2009 to 2013.
In 2013, he became the weekday evening meteorologist at WISH-TV in Indianapolis leading the coverage of snow storms and tornado outbreaks. In 2016, Robb went home to Columbia, South Carolina, to become the chief meteorologist for WIS.
Robb joined CBS 2 Chicago in July 2017. Prior to his television career, he worked as a climate scientist and programmer for the climate offices in North and South Carolina.
Ed Curran serves as a meteorologist and reporter for CBS 2.
Curran is a veteran Chicago broadcaster with a background in television and radio. His reports have ranged from breaking news stories to doing aerobatics on the wing of a biplane.
Ed Curran began his career in weather at WGN-TV before moving to WMAQ-TV and starting at CBS 2 in 2002. With a background in technology reporting, he was a pioneer in online tech reporting and worked as a technology correspondent for CNN. Prior to his work in television, Curran hosted his own show on WGN Radio and also worked for WLS-AM, WIND and WGCI-FM.
Curran has been honored for excellence in broadcasting throughout this career and has been the recipient of 11 regional Emmy awards. Curran received his degree from Columbia College and also completed Mississippi State University's Broadcast Meteorology program. He enjoys working in the studio, chasing storms in the CBS 2 Mobile Weather Lab and speaking to school groups.
Ed Curran has earned the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal awarded by the American Meteorological Society.
Ed enjoys playing acoustic and electric guitar, firing up his backyard smoker and riding his tandem road bike with his wife, Monica. Ed and his wife have two adult children.