James-Paul grew up in Frostproof and began his broadcasting career in 1989 while still in high school after his senior year National Honor Society advisor suggested he stop by her brother’s radio station. Tom Thornburg, owner/manager of Bartow’s WWBF, was her brother. Soon after that meeting, he was hired to do Saturday morning news, host the “WBF Shopper“ classified program, and work Sunday afternoons. For a short time, he did the “Wake Up Easy Show” and eventually worked his way up to the afternoon and evening shift while attending Polk Community College and working at the Lake Wales Highlander newspaper for former Polk County radio newsman Arch Abernethy.
After three years at WWBF, he left for the University of Florida, and a part-time job with 98.5 WKTK in Crystal River (FL). He graduated in 1995 with a Bachelor’s degree in telecommunication news and has gone on to serve as a meteorologist for WCJB-TV/Gainesville, and 11 years in front of the weather map with WHNT-TV/Huntsville, AL. Since August 2008, he has been chief meteorologist for WBRC-TV in Birmingham, AL, and has tracked everything from hurricanes to tornadoes.
James-Paul is an innovator in the field of meteorology, and led the development of the first dual-polarization Doppler radar used in broadcast meteorology in 2004. He carries the National Weather Association Seal of Approval, and is Alabama’s first meteorologist to earn the new Certified Broadcast Meteorologist seal from the American Meteorological Society. In 2004 and 2006, the Associated Press named him “Best Weathercaster” in Alabama.
He has a Master of Science degree in Geoscience from Mississippi State University and has completed additional graduate-level meteorology coursework at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. For three years (2006-2009) he taught meteorology and environmental science courses at Calhoun Community College in Huntsville.
James-Paul retired in 2021 and is now a corporate pilot for a Birmingham-based company.
1989 - 1992 Other Polk County Stations (On Air Personality)