On Wednesday, February 28, fans hoping to see Ginger Zee on Good Morning America were in for quite a shock. The meteorologist was nowhere to be found.

Instead of Ginger sitting at the news desk and delivering the weather forecast as usual, it was Sam Champion stepping into the role. Sam, 62, is a favorite among longtime viewers of the program, who have loved seeing him temporarily fill in for Ginger over the years.

Ginger’s absence from the morning program was addressed on X by GMA costar Robin Roberts.

“Busy Wednesday morn here on @GMA … @SamChampion is in for @Ginger_Zee starting us off with the latest on the dangerous conditions across the country including the raging wildfires in Texas and the tornadoes in the Midwest,” Robin, 63, wrote.

The weathercaster also spoke out online amid her absence from the show.

“Heading out for a big assignment I’ve been waiting and working to cover for a long time! Can’t wait to share with you all on @ABCNewsLive & @GMA soon … thanks for holding down the fort @Wx_Max @SamWnek @SamChampion,” Ginger captioned a post on X.

Many fans took to the comments section to voice their support for Ginger amid her time away from GMA.

“Hopefully we will see you soon again on GMA,” one person replied, while another person wrote, “Looking forward to seeing whatever it is! Safe travels!”

The following day, Sam once again filled in for Ginger on the show. He previously left GMA in 2013 to start a new chapter on The Weather Channel. But shockingly, his hiatus from ABC didn’t last long. In 2016, he departed The Weather Channel and was welcomed back to GMA with open arms on a fill-in basis. He also regularly serves as a forecaster on Eyewitness News.

“I work four days a week now,” he shared in a video posted on Instagram in February 2023. “But that’s because I came out of retirement.”

Sam Champion stands next to Ginger Zee on stage
Noam Galai/Getty Images

Sam has filled in for Ginger a number of times in his years since coming back to ABC. In May 2023, she was out sick from GMA for a few days, leading Sam to step in.

“I have great care but rolling fevers have taken me out — thanks to @SamChampion for filling in today,” Ginger, who shares kids Adrian and Miles with husband Ben Aaron, wrote on X at the time. “Hoping I’ll see you all back on @GMA soon.”