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Best of Richmond

People and Places

Best Independent Forecaster 

Dave Tolleris, WXRisk.com

Critics' Pick

click to enlarge ASH DANIEL

When you're searching desperately for a European model, you need Dave Tolleris. Not a car, not a shoe and not a woman: It's a way of predicting weather.

The private forecaster has nailed storm after storm in Richmond from his basement lair in Chester. His website and advice have become the ubiquitous sources for Richmonders who want to know if it will rain or snow. The geekier may want to know if the wind will be out of the northwest.

Radio station WRVA's weather Web page has a link to WXRisk.com, Tolleris' website, where he provides customized forecasts for businesses and enough weather information to satisfy the most tech-savvy weather-heads and wannabes.

Tolleris, 52, worked for the National Weather Service for six years, and then struck out on his own. In 2000 he nailed a heavy snowstorm that eluded local forecasters until the 11 p.m. news the night before. Tolleris had predicted it might happen days before. "That put me on the board," he says.

Not this past winter, but during the two before, Tolleris repeatedly predicted successive snowstorms. Nowadays, a radio or television tease that Tolleris will be on later produces an involuntary desire to head right for the grocery store.

So what's the pressure and acclaim of being a go-to guy in Richmond weather?

"It's better than cheap sex," he says.

Ah, back to that European model again.

(No prior years awarded this category)

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