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Business, STEM, Uncategorized

Honoring 65 Years of Zany Weather Reporting and Other Activities

Al-Roker-and-Willard-Scott_2009_NYC

Al Roker and Willard Scott, New York City, 2009

 

Much of the activities of this morning’s The Today Show centered on an American icon and beloved jewel, Willard Scott. After 65 years in broadcasting, one of the staples and best known celebrities of morning talk shows signed-off  the NBC network for the last time.

I attribute my initial understanding of meteorology and weather patterns to Willard Scott. Therefore, I am using this post to say so long, but not good bye.

Scott started his career with NBC as a page in 1950, after graduating from American University with a B.A. in philosophy and religion. He served as a radio disc jockey and weatherman at various stations in Washington, DC from 1950-1972. In 1968, he began reporting the weather for an NBC affiliate in Washington, DC, WRC-TV. He moved to a full-time position as meteorologist for The Today Show in 1980, and took on a part-time semi-retired role in 1996 when he turned his full-time position over to Al Roker. [Source: www.biography.com]

My first exposure to this unorthodox weather reporter came during my undergrad years at Howard University in Washington, DC. He quickly became a part of my morning routine. More importantly, I began to better understand the science of meteorology [See previous post: What is Science], future casts, and many of those scientific terms that get captured in a weather report.

Meteorology, as defined in Wikipedia, is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere.  Attempts to predict the weather are probably as old as Adam and Eve, with signs of progress surfacing in the 18th century.  Only after the development of the computer in the latter half of the 20th century did we begin to see significant breakthroughs in weather forecasting. This is the era in which Willard worked.

Most of my friends know that I am a news junkie! With the news that is delivered 24/7, we get our fair share of meteorology and weather reports each day. Thanks to Willard, this news junkie has an appreciation of the jet stream.

Example-jet-stream-source-accuweather

The jet stream, in purple, separates cold air over the Rocky Mountains from warm air over the Midwest in this forecast map for the weekend of March 8, 2013. (Source: AccuWeather and LiveScience)

 

The characteristic flow of the jet stream is currently off-kilter since Arizona has been colder than most of the north- and southeastern United States for the past three or four days. We are normally below these slim strips of strong winds that have a huge influence on climate, as they can push air masses around and affect weather patterns. They have definitely had an effect on our temps here in the southwest. Last night temps fell into the 30s (Fahrenheit) – which is frigid weather for most natives living in Phoenix.

While Willard is known both as a broadcaster and meteorologist, his trademark is helping America celebrate the birthdays of viewers who reached their 100-year milestone. As Matt Lauer, The Today Show host points out, “Willard made it cool to age.”

Thank you Willard Scott for transforming the morning news and weather reporting.

Other Photo Credits: Featured Image on Home/Site page is courtesy of Keenan Murray – bridge near the Vatican, Rome, Italy, 2015

 

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About Vi Brown

Vi is principal and CEO of Prophecy Consulting Group, LLC, an Arizona firm that provides business and engineering services to private and public clients. Prior to establishing her consulting practice in 2001, Vi worked with Motorola, Maricopa County Government, Pacific Gas & Electric, CH2M Hill, and Procter & Gamble. As an adjunct faculty member, Vi teaches undergraduate calculus classes and graduate level environmental courses. She is also a professional speaker.

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