WBTV meteorologists surprise young teen with autism

GASTON COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Nathan Hall almost drew tears with the e-mail he sent to WBTV.

"My name is Nathan J. Hall, and I am 13 yrs old and I ask of 1 wish, I wish to see your meteorologist crew," he wrote. "I've been trying to watch your news every evening and morning of each day. And I would love to go to WBTV and be a meteorologist when I grow up."

It took a little time to get everything in place, but WBTV put together the perfect surprise for Nathan at his school, Grier Middle School, in Gastonia.

Thursday afternoon, teachers brought Nathan out of his classroom and outside to a waiting Storm 3. WBTV's weather response vehicle was flanked by Chief Meteorologist Eric Thomas and Meteorologist Lyndsay Tapases.

"I think I'm going to cry," Nathan said when he saw the two.

He hurried over and rushed to give Thomas a hug.

"It's my long-lived dream to see you," Nathan said.

Nathan has autism and his mother said at times, he can get a little sad. But weather and the study of it has always seemed to be a bright spot in his life.

"He loves weather and has always wanted to be a meteorologist ever since he was in second grade," Nathan's mom said.

Nathan recently learned of the meteorology program at NCSU, and ever since has considered himself a die-hard fan of the Wolfpack.

Thursday, WBTV also presented Nathan with a customized video message and "swag bag" from NCSU.

"I'm literally about to cry right now," Nathan said of the whole surprise, "Actually seeing some of the crew and seeing Storm 3, it's just like 'whoa.' It's just mind-blowing."

He went toe-to-toe with veteran Eric Thomas on obscure weather knowledge. The two talked a little shop and then wrapped up their visit with a hug.

There's no doubt it's a day Nathan won't soon forget.

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