Harold Taft, “World’s Greatest Weatherman”

Harold Taft Weather Forecast – copyright(c) 1980 – KXAS Channel 5.North Texas is known for it’s turbulent, ever changing, and often violent weather this time of year, so at this time I would like to dedicate today’s post as a tribute to the late Harold Taft, affectionately known for many years in these parts as “The World’s Greatest Weatherman”, and (IMHO) the best television meteorologist ever to grace our local airwaves.  I grew up with Herold Taft doing the weather on our local NBC affiliate’s (KXAS Channel 5, previously known as WBAP Channel 5 back in the day) news shows.  Viewing this video brought back some fond memories!  The thing that stood out most about Herold’s weather shows was that he could not only explain meteorological terms in easy to understand language, but at the same time he would include more advanced information for those with a better than average understanding of meteorology.  For example he would include standard meteorological symbols such as isobars on his maps and was one of the few who would also present the upper level wind patterns, one of the main keys to understanding and predicting future weather patterns.  He also resisted station management’s later attempts to “dumb down” his presentation and remained informative and appealing to all listeners ranging from children to fellow meteorologists.

Watching this video was also interesting in seeing all the old analog weather instruments and hand-drawn paper weather charts they used to use before everything went double-doppler-dumbed-down-digital!  One interesting thing shown in this video is where Harold holds up two gynormous acorns the size of golf balls.  For those not from around here, those are Burr Oak acorns.  My grandparents had some of those trees, but I’ve never been able to sprout one of those acorns.  Harold always went beyond the current local forecast to describe the weather happening across the country and would often explain in detail the reasons for weather patterns and made weather interesting!  Harold worked for KXAS and WBAP AM/FM for over forty years until shortly before his death in the early nineties due to cancer.  View the full background image copyright(c) Georgetown University – (original website).

In personal news, I got my taxes all done and sent in at the last minute, all twelve pages worth.  Le sigh¡  At least I’m getting a rather large refund this year vs. having had to write a big check last year.  I’m somewhat old-fashioned / paranoid and still do mine on the paper forms, even though I use the free on-line service “TaxACT” to do all the math and fill in the boxes.  I also have them send me a paper refund check because (probably silly paranoid reasoning) I prefer not to (directly) give them any easier access to my bank account or make it any easier to analyse my return, and just because of plain old habit I guess.

I also had my routine dental appointment this week, which went real well – No Cavities again this time, so I don’t have to go back again for at least six months, yay!  Afterwards, I met some friends and chillaxed at Jupiter House Coffee!  The weather was perfect for sitting out front sipping lattes, smoking up, catching up and people-watching.

Image copyright(c) 2012 – IJ Review.
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Image copyright(c) 2012 – IJ Review.

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