CLARIFICATION: This story was updated at 5:50 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, to clarify that Barys has been working in the local market for 35 years.
Paul Barys, the longtime WRCB-TV 3 weatherman known as much for his beard as the catchphrase, "Paul said it would be like this," has announced his retirement from the station after 35 years in the local market.
The phrase originated shortly after Barys moved to Chattanooga in the '80s and began giving his weather predictions on the air, and it can still be heard around the Tennessee Valley by people commenting on the weather.
Barys' last day on air at Channel 3 will be in July. David Karnes has been promoted to chief meteorologist at the station.
"When I came to Channel 3," Barys said in a news release, "I never dreamed I'd build a life here. I discovered how easy it was to fall in love with this town, and it became home. It's been an honor to forecast for this community."
Barys became a trusted weather predictor and information provider over his career. He was on the air for the blizzard of 1993, and in 2011, he was again on the air for hours helping to guide people to shelter as tornadoes touched down across the region. Again, as storms moved through the area in April 2020, Barys was back on camera providing a voice of calm.
On-air personality David Carroll remembers the week of the blizzard and thinking Barys "was off his rocker" in predicting a huge snowstorm in Chattanooga.
"I was on Rossville Boulevard on a Tuesday doing a story and it was 75 degrees out," he said by phone. "I'm thinking I'm going to go home and play catch and hit some balls with my boys because it's spring. I went into the station and Paul had this printout with a bunch of squiggly lines, which meant nothing to me."
Carroll said Barys pointed to them and said, "'We are going to get 20 inches of snow on Saturday.' He reminded me of that the other day."
Barys joined Channel 3 in 1985 after stints at stations in North Carolina, Indiana and Ohio.
Coworkers said Barys helped make WRCB what it is today.
"As long as I've been at Channel 3, Paul has been as much a part of this place as the building itself," said News Director Callie Starnes in the release. "Paul helped build the Channel 3 that we know today, and we will forever be grateful for his years of service and dedication to our mission to be the best weather station in Chattanooga."
"Paul has dedicated three decades to our station and being the authority on weather in the Tennessee Valley," said Pam Teague, general manager, also in the release. "We are so thankful for his work and proud of his accomplishments."
Karnes, who grew up in Soddy-Daisy, has worked alongside Barys for the past 13 years.
"This is a dream come true for me," Karnes said in the release. "I remember watching Paul when I was in high school and when I got the chance to join the Storm Alert Weather Team, I knew I was joining the best. To have the opportunity to serve as chief meteorologist is the opportunity of a lifetime."
Karnes spent nine years as a chief meteorologist in Sarasota, Florida, before moving to WRCB in 2007.
"David knows the Tennessee Valley and how important weather is to the people who live here," Barys said of Karnes. "He'll do a great job and he has tremendous teammates in the Storm Alert Weather Center who care as deeply as he does about this community."
Contact Barry Courter at email@example.com or 423-757-6354.