JB’s Journal

| June 11, 2013 @ 10:12 am

As promised, I am going to write a series of stories of some of the off-beat incidents in my 32 years of work at the U.S. Weather Bureau (later named National Weather Service) all in the Birmingham office. We had some good times and trying times and yes a few times of silliness in the few times we got caught up early in our work.

This is the story of Birmingham Bill. Three of us were on the midnight shift one night on Groundhog Day. We got through with our work early and got to wondering why Pennsylvania has the only famous groundhog. So one of my colleagues, forecaster Bill Herrman, sat down at the Alabama Weather Wire and wrote a story about  Birmingham Bill which was to be our official groundhog. The Birmingham News mentioned it and we think later the zoo stole our idea. Later that morning, I decided to add some more names. They went like this:  Bessemer Bessie, Carrolton Carrie, Jasper Joe, Tuscaloosa Lucy, Anniston Annie, Sylacauga Sally, Talladega Teddy, Mobile Molly and Montgomery Mary. Even until this day, Bill’s Birmingham Bill is still used. Doesn’t hurt to be a little bit silly a few times a year, but life goes on.

Category: Alabama's Weather

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