Forecaster Mark Peña is a lifelong weather fanatic.
Born and raised in the Austin area, Mark attributes his fascination with weather to the devasting F5 tornado that struck Jarrell when he was 7. From then on, Mark checked out weather books at the library, watched Mother Nature documentaries on The Discovery Channel and was glued to the TV watching Jim Spencer and his severe weather coverage whenever it struck. Little did he know he would one day be working alongside Jim at KXAN.
After graduating from Stony Point High School in Round Rock, Mark pursued his first degree in Communication from The University of Texas at San Antonio. After spending some time out of school, he went back to earn his second degree in meteorology from Mississippi State University, where he currently is a student via its online meteorology program and will be graduating in May 2021.
The ability to earn his degree online allowed him to start his broadcast career at Nexstar sister station KLBK in Lubbock, Texas in 2019 as the weekend forecaster. While in Lubbock, Mark was able to forecast for winter weather, severe weather, dust storms and even chased a tornado.
Mark is excited to be back in his hometown doing what he loves. He hopes his admiration and respect for the weather will one day inspire someone else to pursue their dreams. In the meantime, you can catch Mark running the trails, hitting up the lakes, and of course, eating at all the wonderful restaurants Austin is known for. He is a proud dog dad to his cocker spaniel/poodle Calvin and uncle to his two nephews Julian and Vincent. Mark has a very large family, all in the Austin area, who he loves to spend his free time with.