CLARENCE J. ROOT, former OIC of the Detroit WBO and now retired,
sends us a clipping
from his scrapbook which is particularly interesting in the
light of radio’s present role in forecast distribution.
The item originally appeared in a 1915 Springfield, Illinois
Weather forecasts for Illinois will be disseminated by wireless
telegraph messages flashed from the high power radio station
of Harry J. E. Knotts at that city (Illiopolis, Illinois),
a dispatch from Washington issued by the Department of Agriculture
announced today. The innovation in distributing the forecasts
is the idea of Clarence J. Root of this city, section director
of the Illinois division of the department.
Root suggested the plan to the department some months ago.
It has been in successful operation out of Illiopolis. The
Washington officials say the plan will be put on a larger
scale if as successful as it is thought it will be.
believe that wireless will in the future be the method of
distributing weather forecasts,” Mr. Root said today.
“The plan has never been used before. It’s much
quicker, of course, than the mails. In times of frosts or
approaching storms the information is of inestimable value
to farmers and growers, and particularly valuable if it reaches
them some hours before the forecast atmospheric changes take
place, as can be done with wireless.”
The Illiopolis station has a radius of the entire state. A
number of wireless stations are now in the service.
Root has mailed cards to the operators, and the daily forecast,
which is issued each day about noon when wired to Illiopolis
from Springfield, is posted a few minutes afterwards in the
towns covered. [In: Weather Bureau Topics, Volume 10,
No. 4, p. 82. April 1951.]
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The studio of Radio Station KSD in St. Louis, Mo., was the
scene of a recent novel experiment in televising weather information.
H. F Wahlgren, OIC of the St. Louis Weather Bureau Office,
gave a talk over the station’s television network, illustrating
his remarks on the weather with charts and photographs. Reports
indicate that the reception was excellent. Mr. Wahlgren televised
clearly, and the charts and photographs were as distinct as
though the originals were being viewed close at hand.
his program was over, Mr. Wahlgren had the interesting experience
of sitting in the studio and viewing the television pictures
of the Texas City disaster [April 16, 1947]. The
images of the fires and explosions, he remarks, were as vivid
as photographs in the Sunday rotogravure.
the possible application of television as a means of rapidly
disseminating weather information in easily understandable
form to a large audience, Mr. Wahlgren is quite optimistic.
He believes that “the weather map could be used for
daily projection and dissemination over television, with the
forecaster or some other trained Weather Bureau staff member
explaining the probable movement of the high and low pressure
areas; the fronts, their locations, and associated weather;
the reasons why certain types of weather occurred or are occurring
in various sections of the country and so on.” The program
manager of KSD has suggested a weekly Weather Bureau television
program, and the experiment may lead to a promising innovation
in the Bureau’s public service.
year the representatives of two nationally known radio corporations
approached the Weather Bureau with reference to the possibilities
of television in broadcasting weather news. Conferences were
held in the Central Office and preliminary plans were made
for a trial period of daily service. Due to unforeseen installation
delays the radio companies have not been able to carry out
the plans, but the Central Office concurs fully in the importance
of developing this new channel for dissemination of weather
information. It is expected to come into widespread use eventually.
[Weather Bureau Topics and Personnel, pp. 145-146, July
1947, pp. 145-146.]