For years, loyal Good Morning America viewers have kicked off their days with Ginger Zee on their TV screens. And once she signs off at 9 a.m. — and the fans head to work — ABC’s chief meteorologist is just getting started. Now, to celebrate the release of her memoir, Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One., she invited Us Weekly to tag along for the day to see how she gets it all done, rain or shine.
4 a.m. Bumping Up
In her Upper West Side home November 13, pregnant Zee, 36, wakes up to kicks in her burgeoning belly.
“This supposedly giant baby will not let me sleep!” jokes Zee, due with a boy in February. “He’s most active in the middle of the night.”
That’s always when she finds her stomach growling. Earlier, at 2:30 a.m., “My body becomes this hungry monster. I have to eat. It’s like an out of body experience.” Her go-to: Nuts or chia flax seed chips.
Out of bed, she checks on her peacefully sleeping 2-year-old son Adrian (with husband Ben Aaron). Suddenly, “It’s 4:45 and I have to leave!”
5 a.m. Early Start
A quick ride brings her to the Good Morning America studio in Times Square. “People are done with their night and I’m starting my day.”
With two fellow meteorologists, she maps out the day’s show. “For planning purposes, I usually forecast at night.” After meeting with producers, she heads to hair and makeup, which take about 50 minutes total. “It’s a very well-oiled machine.”
8 a.m. Chill in the Air
After filming promos and the GMA Wake Up Call on Facebook Live, she makes her way to the main studio clad in her Dancing With the Stars satin robe. (She placed third on season 22 with pro partner Val Chmerkovskiy.) “I’m always cold, even when I’m pregnant. My coworkers call me the Wizard of Weather.”
Today’s on-air focus: Recovery following hurricane season. “Very often we do stories and never get to go back. I’ve covered so many natural disasters and being able to go back and check in with these people is so nice,” says Zee. “We get a progress report and see the hope that a lot of these places have and all the work they still have yet to go.”
9:15 a.m. Role Model
Hungry post-show, she snacks on leftover roast beef. “This is when I have what most people consider dinner. I don’t eat a ton in the morning, usually some salad and almonds. My stomach is growling now that I’ve been up since 4, so I dive into something heavier.”
She meets with fans — one was inspired her to enroll in meteorology school! — then heads home to Adrian. “He’s back from the library so we have lunch together. I already had my roast beef, so it’s more hangout with my baby time.” On the menu: marinated chicken, apples and sweet potatoes.
At just 2, the tot is already a star. “He loves to get dressed and take pictures! I’ve never seen a baby look at the lens of a camera the way he does. We are not teaching him this purposefully!”
Zee and her TV host husband are impressed by all of Adrian’s moves. “He’s talking so much, counts to 20 and does all his ABCs!” And, he’s picked up a few things from Mom and Dad. “We sing the same songs to him and, I don’t know why, but we’re so surprised that he’s starting to finish our sentences in the songs. It’s so cute! He knows every word.”
1:15 p.m. Sweat Break
Alongside Adrian, Zee takes a 45-minutes nap. “Being pregnant, my energy level is so different.”
Feeling recharged, she has an hour-long workout with trainer Mark Langowski, the founder of Body by Mark. “I went through my last pregnancy with him and he kept me in really great shape. He got me ready for Dancing right after.”
For cardio, Zee boxes, but mostly, they focus on using her own body in their exercises. “We used weighted ropes. I was dying!”
Next, she goes back upstairs to catch up with her husband. Though he works out of Nashville, “He’s home this week and we get to spend a lot of time together.”
4:15 p.m. Duty Calls
Though set to attend Glamour’s Women of the Year Awards, she has to cancel for World News Tonight with David Muir. While in hair and makeup (again!) for the 6:30 broadcast, Zee replies to tweets then checks the computer forecast. “I look for facts and figures and get into the science, which I love.”
7:30 p.m. Wrap Up
Home for bedtime! She and Aaron read their tot three books, including Goodnight Moon.
When Adrian falls asleep, the pair tune into DWTS to watch Chmerkovskiy compete. “I’m obviously very invested. It’s like having my brother on television.”
Finally, at 9:20, she’s off to bed. “And that’s a slow day for me!”
Zee’s memoir Natural Disaster: I Cover Them. I Am One. is out now.