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women in the weather bureau during world war 2


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Personal View of Anna Mae Deming

The Weather Bureau station was moved to Payson, Arizona, after World War II as Navy wounded were being flown from San Diego to Salt Lake City. When the station moved to Payson in June 1948, I was asked to take the test and apply I began working for the Weather Bureau at that time. I went to work for the Bureau because it is a beautiful hobby, and because we had two children in College.

My previous experience included being a high school graduate and telephone operator. Training for the Weather Bureau included lots of study and lots of time spent with chief observers. There were two men and two women on station. The pay was 75 cents per hour. The duties included complete observations, maps, and public service. I worked all shifts, eight hours per day, forty hours per week.

Although I have been an employee for 23 years at Valley National Bank, I have never left the Weather Service. All instruments were moved to our yard when I became an "A" station and I have continued to work. As an "A" station, I earn today, (14 hours per day - 7 days per week), $12.40 before taxes.

I feel that the Weather Bureau provided a very needful, proud service to the Rim Country of Arizona. Although morale on station was mediocre, my reception by the other employees was okay. The high points have been the good rains, snow on the rim, and fine people. I would choose to do it again.

[Editor's note: In response to the question "What did you feel were your major contributions?," Ms. Deming sent clippings from the Free Mogollon Advisor (April 17, 1985) and the Roundup/Advisor (July 25, 1990). In the 1985 article, Ms. Deming was honored and commended for 35 years of service with the National Weather Service. The article mentions that Anna Mae still calls in seven daily observations which are recorded in the National Climatic Center in North Carolina and are published in the Arizona Republic and the Free Mogollon Advisor. The July 25, 1990, article in the Roundup/Advisor is about the monsoon storm which flooded Payson the previous Sunday. As a long-time observer in the area, Ms. Deming's opinions and advice were sought regarding the storm and the possibility of more to come. She said, "If we're going to have a typical monsoon season this year, we're only at the beginning of it. We could get storms like that through most of August."]

[During the time of the recent fire in the Tonto National Forest, Anna Mae provided temperature, dewpoint, and wind information to all callers. She is still making major contributions to the Weather Service todayI]

[In answer to the question, "Do you have any interesting stories of your Weather Bureau experiences?," Ms. Deming has given reference to the newspaper clippings. The Free Mogollon Advisor states the following: "Anna Mae worked in the first weather station, established July 1, 1948 on Indian Hill. It was a 24-hour station, broadcasting every half hour during storms."] [The report in the Roundup/Advisor about the storm which had poured two inches of rain in one hour on the town of Payson shows that Ms. Deming's interesting Weather~Service experiences are continuing at the present time.

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