At 9 a.m. Monday through Sunday, every morning, you’ll find Noah Jelenovic, an energetic first-grader cheerfully delivering his version of a weather report via @goodmorningstl.
Noah, a student at Kratz Elementary School in the Ritenour School District, conveys his report by Facebook and Instagram.
“I’m feeling really happy and excited to make people happy,” Noah said in an interview with The American. “I like being happy and I want people to be happy.”
The creative brain behind the weather report is Noah’s mother and coach, Shanique Jelenovic, who is responsible for the news-like setting and his stage presence as a weatherman.
The powder blue backsplash in every video is a backdrop his mom bought, and that she will alternate between another arriving soon. For the clean and crisp sound of Noah’s commanding delivery, he wears a lapel microphone clipped to his shirt.
“We have a space in our dining room where it stays up and he uses a ring light for us to have really good lighting,” Shanique Jelenovic said. “He’s been using a lapel microphone since September and he knows how to clip it on his shirt. While I’m writing out his script on my dry-erase board, he puts his microphone on. Then some days he’ll put his glasses on and he makes sure he has lip balm.”
Sometimes Noah changes up his presentation and improvises, his mom said, but for the most part, she tries to at least give him a foundation of what the weather is going to be like.
“We’ve recently incorporated wind reports,” Jelenovic said. “I give him a basis for that and sometimes he’ll deviate. Then I let him just flow with what he’s going to say as long as it’s still consistent with the weather report.”
In at least two-takes, Jelenovic records and edits from her phone and adds background music. Recently, she added captions in the video because she felt it was important for people who are hearing impaired.
“I thought that was really important to include captions because when I attended Quincy University, I was a sign language major, and I was immersed in deaf culture,” Jelenovic said. “I saw a lot of times how that community wasn’t included in everyday life, so I felt it was important to add captions to his videos.”
Noah’s newfound infatuation with the weather began after his mother removed all of the games from her old phone because she felt he spent too much time playing — and replaced them with educational apps teaching him sign and other languages. At the time, the weather app was the only remaining animation that resembled a game.
“I was looking in my Mom’s phone on the weather app, I looked at the weather and I loved telling the weather,” Noah said.
Jelenovic said Noah would randomly tell their family the weather throughout the day,” she said. “Or someone could say, ‘oh it looks like it’s going to rain,’ He would say ‘yeah it is going to rain. It’s a 40% chance of rain’.”
Seeing the comments Jelenovic received from the videos when they first started sharing them showed her why it was important for the reports to continue even in the coronavirus pandemic.
“I am a big advocate for mental health and self-care so if my son is part of why someone smiles during this time that is hard on everybody, I’m all for it,” she said.
Noah has 967 followers on Instagram. His goal is to reach 1,000 before the end of the month. To celebrate his milestone once it arrives, he will host an online giveaway with prizes including water bottles, fanny packs, and face masks with the Good Morning STL logo.
Noah's parents, Shanique Jelenovic and Ivan Jelenovic, don't live together but co-parent Noah. His father is one of Noah’s biggest fans.
“It makes me glad that throughout this activity Noah is learning new skills and helping others in the process,” Ivan Jelenovic said.
Early supporters of the videos contacted Jelenovic asking how to donate to Noah, so she created a Venmo account at @GoodMorningNoah for anyone interested in donating.
“We use a portion of the money to buy supplies for his weather channel; so like the backdrop, the ring light, the microphone were purchased with donations, and then for the rest of it he loves to go to Five Below, that’s his favorite store,” she said.
When Noah isn’t keeping track of what Mother Nature’s doing around town, he’s playing with his Beyblades, spinning toys, watching The Proud Family on the Disney+ streaming service, or singing.