Neal grew up in the Gadsden area and was a fan of WBRC's Pat Gray as a youngster. He pursued a degree in Geography and Meteorology at Florida State University, where he had already participated as a "storm chaser" as a youth. He began working as a weather forecaster at FSU and with WTXL-TV in Florida. After graduating in 1987 he took a job with Chattanooga, Tennessee's WDEF-TV.
Neal is an expert in severe weather preparedness, having conducted research on storm sheltering at Texas Tech University. While at Fox 6, he conducted "Fox6 Stormwarn Town Hall Meetings" and leads numerous other special programs to share his knowledge with the community.
In 2005 the Associated Press of Alabama named Neal the "Best Weather Anchor in Alabama" for the year. An arthritis sufferer himself, Neal volunteers on the Alabama Board of Directors for the Arthritis Foundation and chairs the Birmingham Arthritis Walk fund-raiser.
On February 22, 2008 Neal was suspended from work at Fox 6 and Dennis Washington took over his regular segments. His contract was terminated on March 31. No announcement was made to the public regarding Neal's absence and general manager Dennis Leonard declined requests for a comment.
On May 12 Neal filed a civil lawsuit against the station and its management claiming that members of the station's management had conspired to terminate his contract by fabricating false claims about his performance. The suit sought, in addition to monetary damages, a ruling that the 6-month non-compete clause of his contract be declared void. On July 30 Neal's attorney Steve Heninger announced that a settlement had been reached and that both parties had filed to dismiss the lawsuit. The terms of the deal were not announced.
In October 2008 Neal joined the staff of WIAT, CBS 42.
|WBRC Chief Meteorologist
- WBRC-TV (October 26, 2007) David Neal profile at MyFox Birmingham
- Carlton, Bob (March 26, 2008) "Still no sign of David Neal on Fox 6." Birmingham News
- Walton, Val and Bob Carlton (May 13, 2008) "Birmingham meteorologist David Neal sues Fox 6 over firing." Birmingham News
- Walton, Val (July 30, 2008) "Fox 6, David Neal settle lawsuit." Birmingham News
- DeButts, Jimmy (September 30, 2008) "Weatherman David Neal returns to TV on CBS 42." Birmingham Business Journal
- David Neal vs Fox Television Stations of Birmingham, Inc filing at blog.al.com