Weather in San Antonio can change from brutally hot and dry to threateningly and dangerously stormy in what seems like the blink of the eye. The saying, “If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes,” describes our skies to a perfect capital T. The quick changing nature of Mother Nature keeps forecasters on their toes, and that’s just what meteorologist Siobhain Anders loves. “I get to do something always different because weather is different—it’s never the same,” she said. Tap-dancing through the highs and lows of our forecasts is what she does best. That is, when she’s not running her growing retail business. Or dancing. Or skeet shooting. Or anything else that sounds like fun. “I’ve been doing this for 30 years now,” she said. “I’ve been through all of the bad and the good. I’ve learned you just have to let it slide because you can’t make everybody happy. You try to do the best you possibly can and you try to be the person you think you should be, but there’s always going to be someone who’s not happy.”
In today’s online world, Anders finds herself not only preparing for newscasts, but sharing weather news via social media, including Facebook live sharing from the studio when she’s not on air. “We have a ball behind the scenes,” she said. “It’s kind of a nice thing for people to see — you get to see our real personalities.” Being on camera and the stress of doing live newscasts might wear on some, but not Anders. “I’m always looking for fun stuff to do,” she said with a smile. “I enjoy my job because it is that. When I go to work, I get to work with really intelligent, beautiful, smart, fun people.” She also enjoys ad-libbing and adding her personality on-air. “We don’t have severe weather all of the time here, so a majority of the time, I see myself as someone who can make things easier. For three and a half minutes, I can lighten the mood slightly,” she explained. “My job is to make sure everyone’s safe when bad weather is going on and make sure they know what’s happening. Other times, it’s ‘Bring your plants in, it’s going to freeze,’ or ‘Take your umbrellas, it’s going to rain – and leave five minutes early.’ I believe you have to have a little entertainment value in the newscast. It used to just be informational, but now, people can get information from their phone, so there has to be a reason for them to want to turn on the news.”
Anders larger-than-life personality shines through the small screen, and she loves that people know her as “that redheaded weather girl.”
“Some people say, ‘Isn’t that kind of degrading?’ No, it’s not,” she said. “If they can remember that I’m the redheaded weather girl, I don’t care. Whatever people remember you for, that’s OK. I would rather it be good than bad!” The “weather girl” began her career as a broadcast journalist, but it wasn’t a fit. “It’s just hard for me to talk about such sad things and have such ugly things to talk about,” she explained. So, she started looking at options. She was at KENS at the time, working with names San Antonio knows well: Dan Cook, Chris Marrou, and Albert Flores. Flores approached her to help prepare his forecasts, and, ultimately, sparked her meteorological career. “It was one of those things that just drops in your lap. I absolutely love it.”
After a short stint in Harlingen, she came home to join the team at KSAT. She ultimately got a degree in meteorology from Mississippi State, making her one of the first women meteorologists in the San Antonio market. That pioneer status has had some funny moments, especially when Anders started her family. “When I got pregnant, they didn’t know what to do with me,” she laughed. “I had to stand facing the camera
because when I turned, I would cover up the state of Texas!” Her time doing newscasts has taught her how to handle stressful situations with a smile. “I’m pretty good at handling crisis situations only because in television, we’re live. You have to learn to handle whatever it is. If you can just laugh about something, it will work out,” she said. “When you look back at it, really, what was so important or so bad or so horrendous, you look back and go, OK. That wasn’t all that bad and no one even noticed what I did or didn’t do. You just have to smile and keep on trudging. Keep working through it. There’s a light at the end of the tunnel — you just have to keep working.”
Television has also taught her to roll with things. “When things are going crazy, sometimes you just have to buckle up and say ‘Let’s go!’ You have to not be set in stone. You have to be flexible. It changes constantly, so you just have to learn to bounce. Bounce and smile,” she noted with laughter in her eyes. Anders has somewhat turned her hair into her brand both on television and at home, where she shares her hair color with her husband, Steve, and their two daughters, Diandra and Ireland, as well as with her late mother. “That many redheads in one place could be a little bit dangerous – you just never know,” she laughed. Her house is lovingly nicknamed “Redhead Central.” And those daughters who are all grown up and off to college and professional lives? “They’re what I’m most proud of,” Anders said seriously. “I’m so blessed. My daughters are exceptional girls. Beautiful. Sweet. Kind. As parents, you just want to make them happy and send them out into the world to be good people.” She makes it a point to talk to each of them every day and relishes any time the family can be together.
In person, Anders radiates energy, and her engaging personality draws you in. “I love life. Life is short. I definitely believe while you’re here on this earth, you’ve got to make the best of it.” An only child of older parents, she lost both of them at 90. The lessons she learned as she cared for them in their final years reaffirms her attitude. “You realize when you hear them talking before the end of their lives that they wish they’d done this or ‘I wish I had not hesitated and gone ahead and done that.’ Or ‘I wish I had gone to Ireland.’ Or ‘I wish I had opened that business,’” she explained. “You learn from that.”
While Anders appears on both WOAI News 4 and its sister station, KABB FOX 29, her role as a fill-in meteorologist is not full-time. Cue Shopping with Siobhain, her shop which grew from the free time and empty nest of having her two daughters leave for college, and the need to cull down her parents’ estate. Her solution was to open a vendor space at the Corner Cartel in Boerne. As things sold, she thought it might be fun to have a store. “I’ve always loved looking for fun, funky things,” she said. “I love decorating. I have a little bit of artsy-craftsy in me.” She looked for a place and had two perfect opportunities fall in her lap: a space in The Alley at Bitters and a store in Boerne. She weighed the options and didn’t look back. “What the heck?” she said. “Jump in the deep end and go for it!”
In a blink, Downright Comfort, an antique store in Comfort, also landed in her lap and she opened a vendor space at 8th Street Market, growing from one booth designed to help clear her parents’ estate to four locations of fun finds, unique treasures, gifts and custom work. “I don’t do market. Everything I do, I try to carry a local or Texas artist: handmade crosses from a craftsman in Corpus, handmade wooden boxes from Bill Clegg in San Antonio, Jimmy O’s salsas and marinades because they’re great and from Bergheim.” Shoppers can also find cedar coasters custom cut for the shops and available for embossing, as well as custom upholstery featuring hides and leather. Her greatest treasures, however, may be what she literally picks herself. “We named it Shopping with Siobhain because I love to go ‘pick.’ I’m the person on the side of the road during big trash pick-up days,” she explained. “I’m the person in my dress, ready for work, but I leave an hour early so I can climb and see if there’s any funky things inside of what people throw away. It’s their trash, but it’s my treasure!” she said with a laugh. Retail has allowed Anders to share those treasures, but she still enjoys searching for her own home. “I enjoy the hunt. I love trying to figure out where I want to put my treasure or what I think will look cool in that area.”
She also shops auctions and estate sales to stock the stores and enjoys spending time searching for treasures at places like Round Top. For the fall show, she acted as shopping guide for a group of hunters, helping them land their own treasures across the variety of shows and fields that make up the twice-annual event. Shopping with Siobhain isn’t her only foot in the business world. She also owns her father’s flooring store, Carpet City. Her father, George, founded the store 53 years ago and she runs it with longtime employees who are like family. “I’m trying to keep his legacy and vision alive,” she explained. She came by her multi-tasking naturally; both of her parents successfully juggled multiple interests. “We were that kind of family, so I mix it all around,” she explained. Anders is quick to point out that she doesn’t do all that she does on her own. “I’m one of those team people. I’m in front of the cameras, but if it weren’t for the people behind the scenes, holding my hand to help me get to everything — you just can’t do it. And it happened again with my shops. You just can’t do it all. I have some of the most creative and wonderfully talented people around me.” A team of 16, including part-time help from daughter Diandra, help make Shopping with Siobhain a success.
The native San Antonian grew up going to Boerne with her parents and grandparents, as well as visiting Christmas in Comfort and San Antonio’s Artisans Alley, which is now The Alley on Bitters. With stores now in each of those locations, it seems life has come full circle. “Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I’d have stores in all of those places!” she said. “You never know what life is going to come around to.”
Embracing whatever comes her way is part of Anders’ charm, and part of her life motto. “I’m going to slide into my grave like I’m sliding into home base and I’m going to say, ‘Holy smoke, what a ride!’” she said. “Life is short. Live it to the fullest. Don’t let life go by. Don’t miss anything.”
With her positive outlook, it’s not surprising to learn that what she looks forward to every day is another day to embrace. “Someone said they were just happy that they woke up on the green side of the dirt. I’m happy that I wake up every day, and hopefully make somebody’s day easier. And, maybe make someone smile, or not have such a tough day,” she added. “I hate when people are suffering or stressing. We all do, but it’s just not worth it. I live life to the fullest because I don’t know where I’m going to be tomorrow. None of us do,” she said. “The world is hard enough as it is, just by everyday living and people trying to maneuver life as it is. I try to be kind, be sweet, be gentle. People have their own ideas, their own opinions. You just have to let them have their own and you deal with you, they’ll deal with them. If you can make someone happy, make them smile, why not?” Watching the animated Anders during her forecasts, greeting shoppers at her stores or simply engrossed in
conversation, her smile, laugh and pure love of life is contagious. That love of life, and her love of being active, keeps her on the move.
She’s ridden horses her whole life, competing in jumping and dressage. She stumbled into skeet and trap shooting while fulfilling a course requirement during her undergraduate years at Trinity University. She’s also been a dancer since the age of three, including a turn at competitive ballroom dancing. The common denominator? Active, good fun. “It is so much fun! The whole world can be tough outside but when you walk through those doors, the music starts playing and everybody’s dancing, you wouldn’t know there’s a problem in the world,” she explained. “Then everyone walks back out, we get ourselves refreshed and go back into the world to make it happen.” Although she’s been a dancer since she was a toddler, the world of competitive ballroom dancing is nothing Anders ever expected: the dresses, the practicing, the judging, the hairdos. “I’m still kind of a maverick. ‘Here comes that redhead. She’s not quite fitting in the way she’s supposed to,’” she laughed. Of course, she got into it on a whim when a friend invited her along for a class. She was hooked – then came competitions. “I wasn’t planning to get into this to compete, but I’m one of those who believes you give it a shot before you say no. It’s been a great adventure. We’ve traveled all over. I’ve met the most interesting people and have had the best time.”
One of the things Anders loves about pursuing different hobbies is how the activities create a common denominator. “Ballroom dancing, skeet shooting — it’s groups of people from all walks of life who enjoy the same thing. I love being around fun, interesting and exciting people. You never know who you are going to meet,” she said. “I think knowing different people adds more to us. We can talk about everything and know that there are other people who do other things in life outside of our own little world.” She sees weather as something everyone shares, too. “Weather is a common denominator for everybody. Weather and food,” she added with a laugh. “Those are the two things in life that bring everyone together. No matter what your walk of life is, or income level – food and weather are something we all share.” Food is a something that stirs Anders’ passions almost as much as weather. She loves food and eating out, and will quickly list where to find the best queso, guacamole or burger in town. “I will drive 45 minutes for a good burger! I don’t have a problem driving across town — or an hour or two — for good food
With all that she juggles, people often ask when she’s going to retire from television, but she doesn’t have plans to leave. “I’ve never seen a gray-haired, 90-year-old weather girl on TV, so we’ll see how long this lasts. I’m lucky to be in weather for 30 years. I’m lucky to still be on television in San Antonio and that people still want to watch. I’m a lucky girl. I guess the red hair brought me some luck.”
By Dawn Robinette
Photography by David Teran