TV Weather Forecaster Rachel Frank Hit With 'Venomous' Abuse Over 'Dud' Storm Henri

A TV meteorologist in Connecticut has told how she was sent "venomous messages" after early predictions about the strength of Storm Henri—which was downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm, to tropical depression—did not materialise in the state.

Rachel Frank, who presents the forecast on state broadcaster WTIC, shared her experience on Twitter on Monday.

"I am lucky to have a career I love. But this week has been challenging. I'm on day 8 of work," the Fox61 meteorologist wrote.

"Missed my cousin's wedding. Now I'm getting venomous messages insulting my intelligence and my appearance. I'm 'pathetic,' 'dumb,' 'sensationalist.' 'A blonde that won't stop talking.'"

In a follow-up tweet she added: "I know I should have a thicker skin. But I'm a person and I have reached my limit."

I am lucky to have a career I love. But this week has been challenging. I’m on day 8 of work. Missed my cousin’s wedding. Now I’m getting venomous messages insulting my intelligence and my appearance. I’m “pathetic,” “dumb,” “sensationalist”. “A blonde that won’t stop talking.”

— Rachel Frank (@RachelFrank_CT) August 23, 2021

Storm Henri moved slowly across the Northeast on Sunday, causing widespread damage in New York state, but leaving Connecticut largely unscathed but still witnessing heavy downpours.

Henri, which made landfall in Rhode Island, left more than 140,000 people without power from New Jersey to Maine on Sunday, when it hit its peak, before the National Hurricane Center lifted all tropical storm warnings later that afternoon.

It was then classed as a tropical depression as its sustained winds fell below 39 mph and lingered near the Connecticut-New York border on Sunday night.

While Connecticut missed the worst of the weather, Henri caused widespread flooding in some built-up areas with homes being damaged and cars abandoned.

The situation raised enough concern that President Joe Biden said on Sunday that he would provide federal assistance to residents in affected areas.

Many viewers have praised Frank's reporting of the evolving situation around Henri.

Among them was NBC Connecticut meteorologist Bob Maxon, who shared the impact Henri had on the Northeast.

In a tweet, shared on Monday, Maxon said: "'It was a dud!' Not really a dud when you need a ruler to measure some of the rain amounts. Will it ever end?"

"It was a dud!" Not really a dud when you need a ruler to measure some of the rain amounts. Will it ever end? #NBCCT https://t.co/LXVZIP6Vtm

— Bob Maxon (@bobmaxon) August 23, 2021

Eric Fisher, Chief Meteorologist at CBS Boston, added: "The worst people among us definitely been having a moment in recent times. Hang in there...you do a great job and are a good person."

Lieutenant Governor of Connecticut Susan Bysiewicz also tweeted her support, adding: "Rachel, we are so lucky to have you in Connecticut keeping folks informed!

"These sorts of unacceptable messages are what women still face all too often in their careers, and it's important that we call it out. Ignore the haters and keep up the good work for our state."

Newsweek has contacted Frank and WTIC for comment.

Rachel Frank presenting the Fox61 weather.
Rachel Frank was sent abusive messages online. In this still from an august 19 broadcast, Frank shares weather updates about storm Henri. Fox61