George Lessens began his career at 13 ON YOURS SIDE in 1980 as weekend meteorologist. From 1985 through 1991, he anchored weekday morning weathercasts before returning to the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekend newscasts.
George became 13 ON YOUR SIDE's Chief Meteorologist in July 2001. In October, 2007, he became the longest-tenured meteorologist at any single West Michigan TV station: 26-years, 11-months.
George has been passionate about weather ever since the 1965 Palm Sunday tornadoes hit West Michigan. He grew up in Lowell, Mich. and formed a weather club as a youth to scan the skies for storms and tornadoes. Although he has never seen a tornado, he has been inside the damage paths of many of these storms.
In the early morning hours of his 21st birthday, a small tornado touched down in his hometown. George heard the storm coming and alerted his family members. This storm destroyed the Lowell Showboat, toppled a church steeple, and caused considerable damage to the surrounding community. He rode out a "derecho" windstorm during the July 4, 1991 holiday weekend in a van parked under a highway bridge overpass! Another "derecho" hit West Michigan on May 31, 1998, and this time he waited out the storm in the 13 ON YOUR SIDE studios, co-anchoring nearly 12 hours of continuous severe weather coverage.
During his career at 13 ON YOUR SIDE, George has been recognized and honored with many distinguished awards.
In March 2009, he was the recipient of the "Silver Circle"award given by the National Association of Television Arts and Sciences for 25-years or more of service. He is also an nine-time winner of the Michigan Association of Broadcasters "Best Weathercast" for 2015, 2013, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2005, and 2003. He is also a four-time recipient of "Merit Weathercast" in 2003, 2007, 2012 and 2017. George also won Michigan Emmy Awards for Weather in 2005 and 2009.
He received the "Distinguished Alumni" award from Grand Rapids Community College in 2008 and is a "Distinguished Alumnus" from Lowell High School. He has been the recipient of the Muskegon County "Farm Bureau Agricultural Service Award," Best Graphics awards from UPI Michigan Broadcasters, the Detroit Press Club Foundation award for TV Documentary on "The Flood of '86," and a Michigan Emmy Nomination for "Toys for Tots."
In the past, George delighted thousands of school children with his "Lessons on Science" programs covering subjects such as "Space," the "Environment," and a Michigan Emmy award-winning series on "Birds." George continues to give speeches to many school and civic groups highlighting his passion for weather.
Over the years, George has provided weather forecasts for many West Michigan radio stations, agricultural weather forecasts for West Michigan farmers and numerous ski resort forecasts George edited a weekly weather column for the Advance Newspapers, enlightening readers with his vast knowledge of West Michigan weather trivia, facts and folklore.
George is a member of the American Meteorology Society (AMS) and holds its highest seal of approval as a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM.) He served a three-year term on the National AMS Broadcast Board of Meteorology, the governing body that evaluates meteorologists seeking to obtain the AMS or CBM Seals of Approval. George is an Eagle Scout, having earned the Boy Scouts' highest honor from Troop 102, Lowell, MI. In his spare time, George loves working with computers, gardening and landscaping around his home. He lives in East Grand Rapids with his wife, Sherry.
George is a graduate of Penn State University where he earned a B.S. in Meteorology, and is also a graduate of Grand Rapids Community College, where he earned an Associate Science degree in Chemistry.
Watch George Lessens weekdays at 5, 6 and 11 p.m.