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Wireless seen as coming thing

CLARENCE J. ROOT, former OIC of the Detroit WBO and now retired, sends us a picture of early radioclipping 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 newspaper.

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.

Mr. 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.

“I 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.

Director 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.]

Televising Weather News

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.

After 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.

On 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.

Last 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.]

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