Sunny Days in Urbana for D.C. Weatherman

Highlands’ resident FOX 5 Meteorologist Gary McGrady forecasts more growth for Urbana.

Urbana Highlands’ Gary McGrady is responsible for giving the Washington Metropolitan Area some of its most important news when he provides television viewers with their weekly weather forecasts. However, the FOX 5 Meteorologist is perfectly at ease when his celebrity status does not make headlines in Urbana.

“Most people are over that. With me, what you see is what you get,” he said about his neighborly persona. “I kind of like it that way.”

McGrady, married with three children, has lived in Urbana Highlands for seven years.

He is right at home enjoying the benefits of being a member of a small town and its attractions without the need to showcase his star power.

McGrady speaks from the heart when he refers to the Highlands as a “close-knit” community and his neighbors as “life-long” friends. His very own family faced some difficult life challenges this past year. “The people in the community and our neighbors have been there for us,” he said.

He’s also pleased to assist his neighbors as well in their challenges such as participating in the various fundraisers held for Dillon Papier, also of the Highlands, to aid him in his fight against Niemann-Pick disease.

“This community rallies around everybody,” McGrady said. “It is a really nice place to live, and we’ve always felt comfortable here.”

McGrady’s upbringing in Houston, Texas, afforded him a generous taste of city life.

He did experience a change in lifestyle when he left for college, settling in at Lubbock’s Texas Tech University — a place where he remained for a subsequent job at a local television station in the town.

When a meteorologist opportunity arose in Washington, D.C., in 2004, McGrady and his wife, Vicky, jumped at the opportunity to come to the nation’s capital. Before deciding where to settle in, Vicky, a Washingtonian herself, acknowledged wanting a picturesque view of a mountain range that she could view daily. And McGrady admitted that a return to city life just didn’t appeal to him.

The couple ultimately decided to make its home in the Highlands. “We have a great view of the Catoctin Mountains right from our kitchen,” he said.

Even the dreaded commute southbound on I-270 hasn’t dampened McGrady’s sunny outlook on Urbana.

He’s fortunate to drive the highway during off hours for his evening telecasts, typically avoiding any traffic tie ups. “It really is a wonderful commute.”

If a job opportunity did arise back in his home state of Texas, McGrady said he would consider it but would have a hard time leaving the town where his kids go to school and participate in community activities.

McGrady’s three children are immersed in the Urbana sports scene — playing baseball, football, lacrosse and soccer.

The openness of the area and what this particular region offers are some of the features McGrady and his family often take advantage of. The McGrady family enjoys Sugarloaf Mountain, Western Maryland’s whitewater rafting, and pleasure riding at one of the many local horse farms.

He finds recent development a perfect fit for the town once operating without a grocery to call its own. “[Urbana] is slowly increasing the number of restaurants now. [The area] is becoming more convenient, but not an overwhelming community.”

McGrady is bombarded by questions from those who live outside of Frederick County, inquiring about the appeal of Urbana.

With its continued development amid a rural atmosphere, Urbana is an attractive blend in the eyes of city dwellers wanting a change in environment.

McGrady is often conflicted when boasting about the impressive results of Urbana High School students on national tests, the school’s successful sports programs, and the town’s pleasing amenities.

“At the same time,” he said, “I don’t want everyone to find out about our secret!”

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