Views piling up on northeast North Dakota teen’s blizzard video

After it was posted by two local meteorologists, a video by Jocelyn Stinkeoway of Starkweather, North Dakota, has more than 90,000 views and 900 shares on Facebook.

Jocelyn Stinkeoway.jpg
Jocelyn Stinkeoway of Starkweather, North Dakota, poses in front of a snow drift in her backyard after a video she and her mom filmed of Blizzard Emily went viral on Facebook.
Contributed / Rachel Stinkeoway

STARKWEATHER, N.D. — After a blizzard video made by a Starkweather teen and her mother was posted by two local meteorologists, the flurry of views and shares that followed came as a surprise to the mother-daughter pair.

On Saturday, March 11, 13-year-old Jocelyn Stinkeoway and her mother, Rachel, braved Blizzard Emily to film a 16-second newscast-style video showcasing the blustery conditions. They shared the video with WDAY meteorologist Lydia Blume and Valley News Live Meteorologist Hutch Johnson, both of whom posted it on Facebook and Twitter. Between their two Facebook posts, the video now has more than 90,000 views and 900 shares.

“I was not expecting that,” Jocelyn said.

In the short video, Jocelyn is bundled up from head to toe, standing in front of a snow drift almost as tall as she is. She is even holding a microphone, originally from a karaoke machine, as she yells her newscast over the wind.

“This is Jocelyn. I’m reporting from my backyard in Starkweather, North Dakota,” she says in the video. “As you can tell, it’s a little bit windy out here, and everything in North Dakota is closed. This is your reporter, Jocelyn, signing off.”


Saturday was not the first time Jocelyn and Rachel have filmed a news report video. Jocelyn said she started making that kind of video a few years ago, early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Starting when North Dakota had only five COVID-19 cases, the videos updated friends and family about what was happening and always included a joke and her signature thumbs-up signoff.

The videos were inspired by another family on social media that shared one of their children starring in newscast-style videos. Originally, Jocelyn made around 10 video updates about COVID-19, which Rachel posted to her social media pages.

“I made a bunch of those about random stuff inside and about the weather,” Jocelyn said. “On Saturday, we were like, ‘We haven’t done one in a while,' and we thought it would be funny to do it outside because it was so windy.”

So, they wrote a script, bundled up, and faced the elements. Rachel held the script and the camera while Jocelyn gave her report. About three minutes and three takes later, they headed back inside.

“When we got back in, my face and pants were drenched,” Jocelyn said. “It was crazy, like we just got out of the pool.”

“My phone was covered,” Rachel said. “It was blowing so bad in our faces — I’m sure I looked really silly trying to hold her little script for her to read.”

Rachel posted the video to her social media pages and the Facebook page for the family’s business, North Country Heating & AC, but the most views came after it was shared by Blume and Johnson.

On Blume’s and Johnson’s posts, many in the comments said Jocelyn has a future as a broadcast meteorologist or television reporter. But, she said, she had not really considered that line of work before her most recent video’s success.


“Actually, I was thinking about being a teacher,” Jocelyn said. “I wasn’t even thinking about (television) when we did the ones earlier, three years ago, and everybody’s saying this — now I’m kind of thinking about it.”

Ingrid Harbo joined the Grand Forks Herald in September 2021.

Harbo covers Grand Forks region news, and also writes about business in Grand Forks and the surrounding area.

Readers can reach Harbo at 701-780-1124 or Follow her on Twitter @ingridaharbo.
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