When WPRI meteorologist Tony Petrarca went to work Wednesday night, he probably didn’t expect to face one of his biggest fears live on television. A giant spider decided to interrupt the weather report, leading to a candid moment on air and a hilarious video to follow.

Petrarca called Michael and Maddie to chat about the jarring moment caught on camera.

“This little, well, the big guy starts crawling on the chroma key wall and he falls to the floor, just doing his thing around my feet. ... I am not big with spiders,” he said.

Everyone is scared of something, and Petrarca’s phobia has always been spiders. The veteran Rhode Island TV personality joked that he can’t even watch the 1990 horror film Arachnophobia.

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“It’s stuff like that that makes me cringe,” he said.

For a man who is scared of spiders, he certainly held his composure better than I would have.

During the commercial break, a production team member grabbed a piece of paper and let the spider free. Petrarca couldn’t bring himself to step on the intruder for fear of the “Jurassic Park-sized spider” crawling up his pant leg or cursing the area with rainy weather.

“We all know, if you kill a spider, it rains the next day,” he said. “It’s that weather folklore that we all follow.”

Wednesday’s broadcast on WPRI proved that unscripted moments come with the territory for live television and that meteorologists are humans, too.

“Meteorology can be a dangerous job,” Petrarca joked.

Thankfully, no meteorologists were harmed in the making of this viral moment.

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