May 2, 1982: The Weather Channel is Born!

| May 1, 2009 @ 10:04 pm | 13 Replies

It was at the top of my list of inventions of the late twentieth century. It ranked ahead of the personal computer, the VCR and the microwave. It ranked just behind the internet. For a weather weenie, continuous, non-stop meteorological nirvana in the form of a cable channel

We didn’t have cable back then at my house, but our neighbors, the Carsons, did. Mr. Carson thought that weather obsession was amusing, so he would let me come over and watch the all new Weather Channel after dinner, just for kicks. I think he secretly loved weather as much as I did. There was the ingenious new WeatherStar computer system, that delivered your local NWS forecast, accurately and dependable. (Not many people know that The Weather Channel effected a major revolution at the National Weather Service, getting them to standardize the format of their forecast and add codes that allowed the data to be parsed by county.) Continuous regional and local weather observations. Radar images. National highlights. Friendly, down home meteorologists delivering the weather forecast.

Do you remember who was on camera when the network debuted on May 2, 1982? Bruce Edwards and Andre Bernier?

4.2 million homes had access to The Weather Channel when it started that night. Everyone would admit that The Weather Channel changed over the past twenty seven years. Many weather folks would say that it barely is a weather channel anymore, but you cannot deny that it has become an iconic institution.

What do you think? How do you think TWC has changed how Americans view weather? How often do you watch and how has that changed? What have been your favorite features on TWC? Your least favorites segments? Who are some of your favorite on-camera meteorologists and TWC personalities? What’s your biggest gripe or greatest praise? Your favorite long form segments? Do you have a favorite blooper? Give me your feedback.

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About the Author ()

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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