Weather Channel visits Sherman Corn maze, valley

By Daymond Steer

CONWAY — Tune in to The Weather Channel on Saturday morning, and you'll likely see some familiar sights. There's the Sherman Farm, for example, or the Conway Scenic Railroad or the Jackson pumpkin people. Plus you'll hear the occasional corny joke from the on-air talent who will be broadcasting live from the valley. Like, about corn.

pumpkin-sherman-weatherThe Weather Channel's Raegan Medgie clowns with a pumpkin at Sherman Farm. Segment producer Trish Ragsdale is at left, cameraman Rodney Hall at right. (DAYMOND STEER PHOTO)On Wednesday, The Weather Channel was in the area filming for its "It's Amazing Out There" fall tour, which sends correspondent Raegan Medgie and meteorologist Paul Goodloe across Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to film and do live segments for other Weather Channel shows.

Early Wednesday, they were set up at Sherman Farm's Corn Maize, where they not only got in among the stalks but also sat down to carve some pumpkins. Then they went off to film in Conway and Jackson.

The footage will be featured Saturday on live Weather Channel programs  "AMHQ" (5 a.m. to 9 a.m.) and "Weekend Recharge" (9 a.m. to noon). They will be live from the valley from 7 a.m. to noon. The team will report live from 7 a.m. to noon.

According to segment producer Trish Ragsdale, who is usually based out of Atlanta, "We're usually standing in hurricanes or severe weather at 5 a.m. So it's a treat to be able to come out and be able to see amazing areas and weather when it's beautiful out."

The idea behind the tour is to show America parts of the country they might not otherwise get to see. For example, the spring tour showcased the Deep South, where two other correspondents got to take airboat rides and go to crawfish festivals in Louisiana.

Ragsdale said that when you think "What would be a beautiful place to be in the fall?" everyone thinks about New England and its foliage.

"But there are all these small towns and little places along the way that people don't know about," she continued. "We like to venture into these small towns and find wonderful things and wonderful people along the way, like the corn maze."

Asked about a forecast, meteorologist Goodloe, a field reporter and co-anchor of "Weekend Recharge," said this winter should be relatively mild in terms of temperatures but that there is still going to be snow.

"Here's the thing about El Nino," he said, referring to the band of warm water that periodically forms across the central and east-central Pacific Ocean, "we can still see a decent amount of snow because we have more moisture in play and temperatures are a little bit warmer — warmer air can hold more moisture."

"So, said Goodloe, "if the timing is right, with a blast of cold air with moisture dumping on top of it, you still can get some pretty decent snows this year, though it shouldn't stay brutally cold the entire winter."

Goodloe said he enjoys snowboarding in deep powder and likes to ski when it isn't snowing. "This should be a great year for the powder hounds," he added.

This was Goodloe's second trip to New Hampshire. "It's so beautiful," he said. "It's not too hot. It screams fall."

He added that he was really impressed with the variety of apples available, particularly the russets.

In addition to being weather people, the crew are also a bunch of punsters. Goodloe cracked several jokes in the maze. He grabbed an ear of corn and spoke into it like a phone.
"Can you ear me now?" he said.

Cameraman Rodney Hall joked that he was "being stalked" in the maze.

Medgie, who is based out of New York City, had a good time in the corn maze but admitted it was "confusing at times."

The corn maze has questions posted along the way that give people hints on how to get out.

"There were two different directions we could follow, and we were following the child directions with the easy questions. Then we looked over at the harder questions and realized we were doing exactly what we should be doing by looking at the child questions," said Medgie. "It was really fun."

Medgie is a general assignment reporter whose job it is to provide context and color to weather reports.

"I tell Mother Nature's story, whereas Paul will explain what Mother Nature is doing," said Medgie. "I'll explain how it's impacting you and me and the community in which we live."

This was Medgie's first trip to New Hampshire. Originally from Pennsylvania, she said she's been "awestruck" by New England's foliage and rolling mountains.

On this trip, Medgie said she and Goodloe get to "taste everything fall, experience everything fall and smell everything fall."

The beginning part of the week, the crew was shooting footage. On Friday, Saturday and Sunday they were going to shoot live in the morning and then take some time to explore the area in the afternoons.

Or as Medgie put it: "When we have our deadline done and filed, we can go and really enjoy."