A text conversation between 11Alive Chief Meteorologist Chris Holcomb and his daughter has been seen by more than 10 million people.
It all started last Thursday afternoon. Residents around the metro Atlanta area were gearing up for potential weekend winter weather. Chris had just finished 90 minutes of news, where he explained the latest models and explained the difficulty of forecasting snow in Atlanta.
"As I finished up the newscast, I walked back over to the weather desk in the StormTracker Center and saw that I had missed a text from my daughter," Chris explained.
"The text said, 'The weather app says it's not gonna snow.' I wondered if she even watched what I just said on TV!! So I replied "Thank you" to her comment. I then said 'Maybe your weather app will pay for your college.' I just thought it was so ironic that her Dad is a chief meteorologist, but she still was checking her app for a weather forecast!"
Chris did what anyone else with more than 30,000 social media followers would do: he took a screen shot of the text and posted it to his Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.
"I thought folks might get a little chuckle over it," Chris explained. I had no idea it would strike a nerve like it did."
It did more than strike a nerve: it went full-fledged viral.
Text from my daughter. pic.twitter.com/LuC72xf05D— ChrisHolcomb11Alive (@ChrisHolcomb) January 6, 2017
As of Monday afternoon, Chris' original post has been retweeted more than 50,000 times, liked more than 155,000 times. On Facebook, the post was liked more than 6,000 times and shared nearly 1,000 times. Overall, it reached more than 10 million people.
"I really have no idea why this resonated with folks to make this go viral," Chris said. "At first, I was thinking that my local followers were used to seeing me talk about weather and this simple tweet gave them an insight to my real life. This was a tweet that they didn't really expect to see that day. It was also a little comic relief during a tough day of forecasting."
Now, national media outlets such as BuzzFeed and CNN are calling Chris.
"Even people who have no idea who I am are thinking this is one of the funniest tweets they've seen,' Chris said. "It may also tap in to the perception that 'weathermen are always wrong,' since a meteorologist's daughter was referring to her iPhone app to get the weather."
Chris said he's learned a lot from the experience.
"I'm learning that 'savage Dad' is a compliment," he said. "I've been called 'savage' a lot! But my daughter says that's good."
And what does his daughter, Claire, think of the attention?
"She thought it was funny," Chris said. "That's just a typical banter that we have. College is a big subject around our house right now. She is a senior in high school. We are getting college acceptances now. We are weighing out the options between in-state tuition versus out of state tuition."
The tweet has showed the power of social media: both good and bad.
"Some people have no idea who we are, yet they are judging us based on these few words," Chris said. "Some are saying I have the worst daughter in the world, and other's are saying I'm the worst Dad in the world and 'Don't be this Dad.' Ninety-nine percent of the folks responding thought it was great and they just wanted to share and retweet and funny conversation between a meteorologist dad and his daughter."
Now the big question is, which was right, the app or the Dad? It turns out that neither of them were totally correct. Claire used the zip code of her location to get the forecast. She was north of Atlanta. While it said it wouldn't snow, it did in that area. However, it didn't snow as much as Dad said it would!