Growing up in Illinois, the Norman family would gather their chairs and sit with the garage door open, looking out over the neighborhood as storms would roll in. A young Royal, who had the habit of clipping the weather report out of the newspaper, received a cardboard meteorology set as a gift from his aunt. It can be surprising how themes from childhood can grow, unwittingly, into lifelong pursuits.
Norman started his career in radio. He worked the soundboards and reported on local news. His wife, Nancy, also worked in radio. It was while they were working in Battle Creek, Michigan, Nancy received a job offer in Phoenix that would ultimately change the course for Norman’s career, too. As they drove into town that hot August afternoon in 1981, they were met by a huge dust storm. “It’s going to rain,” they said to each other. It did not. Thus, they were introduced to Arizona weather.
Once in Arizona, Norman decided to pursue his lifelong interest in meteorology. Enrolling at Arizona State University, Norman was finally able to delve deeper into the science of meteorology that always intrigued him. Norman graduated from ASU in 1984 with a bachelor’s degree in geography with a focus of meteorology and climatology.
That summer, he started working at 3TV as the weekend meteorologist, earning his American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval for both television and radio broadcasting. During that first 12 years at 3TV, Royal logged thousands of miles traveling the Grand Canyon State, doing the weather and telling interesting stories about the people of our state.
In 1994, teamed with Jodi Applegate, Norman was part of the crew that launched Good Morning Arizona. Nobody knew at the time it would become one of the top-rated local morning shows in the country.
In 1996, Norman and his family moved to Atlanta, where he was the chief meteorologist at WXIA-TV, the NBC affiliate. His favorite part of that job was chasing hurricanes – something that never happened in Arizona.
Returning to 3TV in 2001, Royal is now Arizona’s Family’s chief meteorologist. He works weekday nights, appearing on Good Evening Arizona, 3TV News at Nine and 3TV News at 10. He is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ Rocky Mountain Southwest Chapter’s Silver Circle Society.