Monica Danielle AccuWeather Senior Producer
Most people planning a marriage proposal want good weather. Not AccuWeather meteorologist Tom Bedard. He was hoping for a tornado.
Bedard had meticulously planned the ultimate marriage proposal for his AccuWeather girlfriend and meteorologist, Raya Maday, for months. All he needed was a tornado.
Given that both are meteorologists who enjoy storm chasing in their spare time, and that Maday happens to be a forecaster who specializes in severe weather, chasing a tornado didn’t seem out of the question.
Bedard and Maday met in 2016 at an annual American Meteorological Society event in New Orleans. Shortly thereafter, the two of them were hired to work concurrently at AccuWeather in the company’s Wichita, Kansas office, and they say they’ve had a fantastic couple of years together.
“We’ve always been pretty connected in the weather community,” said Maday. “Even from the day we met.”
On the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, the couple set off on a storm chase on a low risk day, weather forecasters language for a day when the NOAA Storm Prediction Center posted a storm forecast of level 2 out of 5. where five 5 is the highest. With a low risk, tornadoes are possible but not guaranteed.
They were accompanied by friends who were involved in the proposal plan. Unbeknownst to Maday, Bedard wore an engagement ring and was ready to get on his knees to ask the question – whether the weather conditions should be just right.