Mish Michaels, a renowned meteorologist, died on March 14. She was 53 years old.
Michaels’ death was announced in a statement released by her family. The statement said, “It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of our beloved Mish Michaels. Our family is devastated by her loss.”
Michaels’ cause of death has not been made public.
The statement went on to say that Michaels was “a devoted mother, wife, daughter, auntie, friend and stellar equestrian, as well as an award-winning broadcast meteorologist and environmental reporter.”
In addition to her professional work, the family’s statement highlighted Michaels’ philanthropic work.
Michaels, a native of Kolkata, India, was a graduate of Cornell University and Harvard. During her career, Michaels worked for WMUR in New Hampshire, CBS Boston, and WHDH Boston as well as working on The Weather Channel’s show Atmosphere.
In addition to her husband, Wes Atamian, Michaels is survived by her daughters, Nalina and Anika.
Michaels was inspired to become a meteorologist after having a direct experience with a tornado
Michaels became fascinated by the weather when a tornado tore through her apartment complex in Baltimore when she was 5 years old, according to a tribute published on CBS Boston’s website.
Michaels’ former colleague Terry Eliasen wrote, “She never looked back. I often wondered, if that chance encounter with that tornado had never occurred, might she be a famous artist or author, or perhaps a world-renowned equestrian… just some of her ‘hobbies’ in the years since she left TV.”
Eliasen also said that Michaels had the words “T-Storm” as her license plate, demonstrating her love of weather systems. He added that Michaels would often end her emails with the words, “Sunny skies.”
Michaels was fired from her job as a science reporter after her anti-vaccine views emerged
According to Michaels’ LinkedIn page, she last worked in the Massachusetts media in 2009 when she left her role at CBS Boston. In 2001, Michaels set up her own children’s clothing business, Natural Cloud Cover. Michaels described the clothing as being “for the weather watcher in every kid.”
In 2017, The Boston Globe reported that Michaels was fired from her new role as WGBH’s science reporter in Boston. The Globe said that Michaels’ firing was due to her anti-vaccine views which saw her once testify before the Massachusetts Legislature in favor of a bill that would allow parents to not-immunize their children before they attended school.
During her statement, Michaels drew a direct correlation between common vaccines and autism in children. Many of Michaels’ statements on vaccines have been disproved and discredited. Boston.com also reported that Michaels has expressed climate change skepticism.