When Hurricane Irma approached the southeastern United States, there was a lot of doom and gloom going around.
The grave warnings of potential devastation and the wreckage the storm left in its wake were everywhere.
But for all the (perhaps rightfully) sensational coverage, there was little talk of the actual storm itself: where exactly Irma would make landfall, how strong it might be when it hit, and how the projections were changing on a minute-by-minute basis.
That's where local Mobile, Alabama TV weatherman Alan Sealls came in.
Sealls delivered a thorough and remarkably calm breakdown of the latest Irma models. For many on the internet, it was a much needed breath of fresh air.
"The models don't control the weather," he explained patiently to viewers. "That's the attempt to keep up with what's going on, calculate, and regenerate another projection."
In thorough yet simple terms, Sealls aggregated and explained each of the main models, or projections, of where Irma might go.
His gesturing was on point too. GIF via WKRG/YouTube
"The storm itself hasn't really changed what it's doing," he said. "What's changed is our day-to-day assessment and projection."
The clip quickly spread far beyond Mobile. It made its way onto the front page of Reddit with the headline, "best weatherman ever."
An overnight hero, Sealls suddenly had a fan club millions strong. But why?
In what became a defining moment during the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, a distraught mother tore into a CNN reporter for sticking a microphone in her face during the most traumatic moment of her life. People online rallied behind the mom, and it became clear we were all hungry for a different kind of storm coverage.
Seall's report, while seemingly straightforward, was exactly what many people needed to hear.
Alan Seals is the best meteorologist in the world.— Hannah Love (@Hannah Love)1504816695.0
Get this man on a goddamn National Network. He is too good to be a local weatherman. #IrmaHurricane2017 https://t.co/SwBwrVEQAC— Daniel (@Daniel)1504833139.0
Hurricane Irma was one of the strongest and most ominous storms we've seen. Anyone in the affected areas needed to take it extremely seriously.
But it's still inspiring to see millions of people (the clip on YouTube has over 3 million views as of this writing) coming together in appreciation of science and just-the-facts reporting.
Sealls is right — we can't control the weather. Sometimes when things are out of our hands, though, having a friendly expert with a soothing demeanor just level with you is the most comforting thing there is.
You can watch Sealls' full, viral, and incredibly educational weather report right here:
This post was updated 12/07/2017.