Dana Barker serves as the weekend meteorologist for WLTZ First News.
He holds a Master of Science in Applied Meteorology from Mississippi State University and is the only on-air meteorologist in the Columbus market with a graduate degree in the discipline. He also has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from Columbus State University and is a 1997 graduate of Shaw High School, also in Columbus.
Barker has been with the station since 2012, when he first started working behind the scenes on WLTZ’s Facebook and Twitter pages, informing viewers of local conditions and breaking weather events. He first appeared on camera as a fill-in on WLTZ First News Today in December 2012. He has been the weekend meteorologist since the inception of the weekend news broadcasts in August 2015 and continues to fill in as needed on other news programming throughout the week.
Besides his on-camera work, he continues to keep viewers informed via the station’s various social media channels. During breaking severe weather events, he is an integral part of the staff both on and off camera. Being the only meteorologist in the market to have grown up in the Columbus area, Barker uses his intimate knowledge of local geography to deliver critical weather information on a “hyper-local” level.
Outside of WLTZ, Dana works full-time as a client software analyst for TSYS’s main campus in downtown Columbus. He is also a freelance sports writer for the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer and a football official for the Alabama High School Athletic Association. He has previously served as the public address announcer and in-arena music man for the Columbus Cottonmouths hockey team and Columbus Lions indoor football team.
Barker currently resides in Auburn, Ala. with his wife, Sarah, who is an elementary school teacher in the Auburn area, and their toddler son, Colin.