Catching up With Ken Barlow: What Happened to KSTP-TV's Chief Meteorologist?

Since publicly acknowledging his bipolar disorder, Ken has been remarkably transparent about his journey.

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Jun. 25 2024, Published 10:03 a.m. ET

Listen, we all have our go-to news station, and for those in the Minneapolis area, KSTP-TV is the place to be! The audience just can't get enough of the news team, especially the one and only chief meteorologist, Ken Barlow.

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Now, don't fret — Ken hasn't been missing from the broadcast lately, but fans are dying to know what's up with him these days. So, what's the scoop on Ken Barlow? Keep scrolling for updates, including insights into his ongoing struggle with mental illness.

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What happened to meteorologist Ken Barlow?

As previously stated, there's no cause for concern regarding Ken Barlow — he's simply living his best life with his wife, Theresa! In fact, they recently celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary on June 23, 2024.

"Well, today's the day that changed my life forever… 40 years ago, Theresa and I were married in a chapel in New Hampshire," Ken wrote on Instagram alongside three photos from their special day. "Three beautiful kids later, and we're still going strong. I love her now more than I ever have."

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Earlier, on June 20, Ken shared via Instagram that he and Theresa were celebrating their anniversary in Europe, specifically enjoying a week-long river cruise along the Danube.

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Ken Barlow has been candid about his mental health.

During an annual benefit walk for the Minnesota chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) back in 2012, Ken disclosed to the crowd that, like his late father, he lives with bipolar disorder. His diagnosis came in 2007 when he was 45 years old.

Reflecting on that pivotal moment, Ken shared with The Phoenix Spirit in 2023 that he initially feared how others would perceive him. He worried about potential repercussions at work, but thankfully, his concerns were unfounded — everyone treated him the same.

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Since publicly acknowledging his bipolar disorder, Ken has been remarkably transparent about his journey. His revelation prompted an outpouring of support, including thousands of supportive emails and even recognition from actress Glenn Close, who has personal ties to mental illness and founded Bring Change to Mind to raise awareness.

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Ken has actively participated in public service ads and supported various initiatives to combat the stigma surrounding mental health. He has served on the board of NAMI and frequently speaks about his experiences.

Though he publicly advocates for mental health awareness, Ken also faces the daily challenges of living with bipolar disorder privately. He refers to his periods of depression as being "Down in the well," where he doesn't want to do anything or talk to anyone. In contrast, bouts of mania bring intense euphoria and spurts of excessive behavior like impulsive spending or compulsive cleaning (one of his favorite activities).

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"As I've gotten older, they're coming more frequently," Ken explained. "A rapid cycler is what my doctor calls me, where I can go from here to there in a day. So that makes it really hard. It's like, 'Oh wow, where am I today on the scale?'"

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He continued, "The problem is when you're in a really good mood, you don't know if you’re really in a good mood or if you're going manic. Even when you're happy, you can't be happy. Because we all know when we're depressed, but when I'm in a good mood, I'm thinking in the back of my head, 'Oh my God, is this going to be a bad mania thing or am I just feeling good?' I don't know. So, you question it all the time."

Navigating these fluctuations requires constant adjustment of medications and monitoring. It sometimes even leads to hospitalization, as it did in February 2022. Despite the complexities, Ken remains committed to raising awareness and providing support for those affected by mental illness.

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