View of Mary Evelyn Ross Lucke
I began working for the Weather Bureau in January, 1944, at Havre,
Montana. At the time, I used my maiden name, Mary Evelyn Ross. I had
learned by word-of-mouth that the Bureau needed new employees. I went
to work there to do my bit for the war effort - and to earn money
included one quarter of college, and I had worked in a department
store and a bank. I left the Weather Bureau in January 1946 to return
to college. The Weather Bureau provided on-the-job training in reading
instruments, typing and measuring clouds, measuring winds aloft, and
plotting maps. The boss and our four female co-workers were the other
personnel at the duty station. The morale on station was good among
the "girls." The boss was an old "fuddy-dud" and quite "macho," even
though he was effeminate. As near as I can remember, I started at
$130 a month after leaving a bank job that paid $70.
consisted of hourly reports, PIBAL runs, and weather maps (my favorite
job). I worked eight-hour shifts - day (8:30 a.m. -4:30 p.m.), evening
(swing), midnight (12:30-8:30). We normally worked eight hours a day,
40 hours a week. The last few months I worked, we had an 8 a.m. to
6 p.m. shifts with a two hour lunch. I worked night shift with no
days off because the two new girls weren't experienced enough to work
really know what would be the high or low points of my Weather Bureau
Career. My first impression of the Bureau was - I liked it! I really
liked the work. Would I do it again? Yes, because I learned so much
and it was fascinating. I feel that my major contributions included
being efficient and doing excellent daily maps.
experiences included the time I stayed on the roof tracking a PIBAL
for 50 minutes when the temperature was -30. I couldn't move my fingers
for quite a while. Another time, I recorded a rather fierce thunderstorm
which "hit" at 3 a.m. The boss, on arriving at 8 a.m. chewed me out
for making such a mistake because Great Falls hadn't had a storm first.
According to him, all weather came from Great Falls. After I showed
him the map and the frontal system, he calmed down.