Charles Abel-Lear

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Charles Abel-Lear
Profile picture of The Weather Chazz
Personal information
BornCharles William Abel
(1980-03-16)March 16, 1980
DiedNovember 6, 2019(2019-11-06) (aged 39)
Sacramento, California, U.S.
OccupationCreative services manager, KCRA-TV[1]
YouTube information
Also known asChazz, The Weather Chazz
Years active2007-2019
  • TWC fandom
  • WeatherSTAR simulation
Subscribers2,430 subscribers[2]
(April 2022)
Total views2,666,655 views[2]
(April 2022)

Charles William Abel-Lear (March 16, 1980 – November 6, 2019) was a well-known personality within The Weather Channel's fan community who was responsible for the creation of The Weather Chazz, a YouTube channel devoted to recreations of The Weather Channel's graphics and local forecasts. He was a highly respected figure whose work recreating graphics was well-appreciated, even outside of the TWC community. Besides his work within the fandom, he was also the creative services manager at KCRA-TV in Sacramento, California.[3]

Early life

Charles was born on March 16, 1980. He grew up in the northern suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in or around the suburb of Fridley.[4] On July 18, 1986, he personally witnessed a tornado pass through the suburb from his own home. This event was the occasion he cited as the beginning of his lifelong interest in meteorology. However, he noted that weather was "more terrifying than fascinating" to him in the years following the tornado, and that he would often seek cover during thunderstorms. This would change when Hurricane Hugo hit the southeastern United States in September of 1989, and Charles encountered The Weather Channel for the first time. He stated that the coverage by TWC's meteorologists "gave me an up-close and personal view of a major weather phenomenon without the fear of it being in my own backyard." After this point, his fascination with the weather became very much attached to the network. He would even have TWC on on a small television while pretending he was presenting the weather.[4]


Early developments (1992-1994)

Charles's first attempts at simulating the local forecast on The Weather Channel came in 1992, when his family acquired a 286 DOS-based PC. On the new computer, he used the program QBasic to create a rudimentary recreation of the WeatherStar 3000. By 1993, he was able to create an early simulation of the WeatherStar 4000, even creating weather icons by changing font characters. By 1994, his family had acquired a Windows-based PC, and he began to use the program MacroMedia Action to improve upon his earlier recreation projects.[5]

Life changes and the rise of TWC Classics (1998-2004)

During high school, Charles improved upon his graphic design skills through classes and experimentation in Adobe Photoshop. After he graduated, he hoped to achieve success in New York City's art community. Despite making the move, he was unable to achieve the success he had hoped. Nonetheless, while there, he was able to network with and become friends with a fellow fan of The Weather Channel named Matt, who ran the website that would eventually become TWC Classics. By 2004, they began the work to rebrand the site to its current name. After the change, they created a variety of special content for the site that drew in new waves of fans, including Local Across the 48s and Wayback Playback. The efforts on their part to draw in an audience even drew the attention of The Weather Channel's WeatherStar development team itself, who relied on TWC Classics's userbase to find beta testers for their new IntelliStar technology.[5]

Contributions to the WeatherStar 4000 simulator (2004-2005)

On the TWC Classics forums, Charles met another user named Nick, with whom he created new icons and fonts to improve upon his previous MacroMedia-based WeatherStar 4000 simulations for the site and make resources available to fans through the TWC Classics site. This effort led to Bill Goodwill, the programmer behind the WeatherStar 4000 simulator project, reaching out to Charles, asking if he would be interested in contributing his graphics to a new version of the simulator project. Together, they spent much time preparing the second major release of the simulator, which was released in 2005.[5]

Later years (2015-2019)

Between the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015, Charles did not upload any videos to his YouTube channel. The absence led to rumors of his death, prompting him to return to the channel in June 2015 with a video entitled "I'm Not Dead :-)" in which he dispelled these rumors. From then through the fall of 2016, he provided filler content in the form of early-to-mid 2000s footage of The Weather Channel. He then returned to the channel in November 2016 with new forecast simulation videos through the end of that year. From then until September of 2017, he did not upload any content. He then returned with more content, largely focusing on simulated TWC forecast videos covering Hurricane Irma. Likewise, after Thanksgiving of that year, he would stop uploading videos until September 2018. After uploading videos covering that year's heat waves and wildfires, he produced eight videos for a—perhaps unknowingly—final Nights of Christmas event for the holiday season of 2018.

His final video, a WeatherSTAR 4000 simulation video entitled "Deadly Arctic Blast Impacting the North," was released on January 30, 2019, just months prior to his death later that year. In the wake of his passing, many fans would leave tribute comments in the video's comment section.


Charles died unexpectedly in Sacramento, California, on November 6, 2019. His death roused many to leave tributes in his memory, including family, friends, members of the TWC community, and his co-workers at KCRA, among others. In terms of the TWC community, a thread on the TWC Today forums announcing his death became a thread of tributes left by various personalities and other fans.[6] He was buried in the columbarium at Calvary Cemetery in Anoka, Minnesota.


Charles' contribution to The Weather Channel's fandom cannot be understated. His contributions to TWC Classics and the WeatherStar 4000 simulator project have ensured the staying power of those projects, even to this day. His dedication to motion graphics, particularly simulations of The Weather Channel forecasts, inspired countless members of the fan community to create their own projects. Many popular channels in the community can trace their origins to inspiration by Charles's work.

See also

External links


  1. "KCRA 3 remembers beloved creative services manager Charles Abel-Lear". KCRA. November 15, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. 2.0 2.1 "About The Weather Chazz". YouTube.
  3. "KCRA 3 remembers beloved creative services manager Charles Abel-Lear". KCRA. November 15, 2019. Retrieved April 28, 2022.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Abel-Lear, Charles (October 9, 2012). "Special Presentation: 20 Years of The Weather Chazz". YouTube. Retrieved April 29, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Abel-Lear, Charles (October 9, 2012). "Special Presentation: 20 Years of The Weather Chazz". YouTube. Retrieved April 29, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. Mike M. (November 9, 2019). "Charles Abel-Lear 1980-2019". TWC Today. Retrieved April 28, 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)