Weather Blog

The KOMO Weather Center, then and now

The KOMO Weather Center, then and now

Amazing what you find when you do a little spring cleaning. I stumbled upon these old photographs taken not too long after I started here at KOMO as a weather producer in the summer of 1994.

Ignoring the "deer in headlights" photo of me, I was amazed at remembering how we produced a weather show back then.

The white computer was our main weather computer, but it was only for graphics. Radar images for TV were just starting then -- when I interned at the National Weather Service in 1993, they were just turning on the Camano Island radar and getting trained on it. (When we did the first inklings of radar images for TV, we had to download them via modem phone line every few minutes.)

Satellite images came in via an entirely different computer and same thing -- we had to call the database right before the show and download the images to seam together into a loop.

Also of note -- our old weather center office was quite tiny (the photographer was standing at the back), had no windows and was in a former sound-proof booth from when our first building was radio-only. There were many a days when we had no clue what the weather was actually doing outside. (We were in the middle of the building. But if any of you ever were in line to see a show of Northwest Afternoon or Town Meeting, you walked right by us!)

But what I find most intriguing (aside from that Steve never ages) is what is on the wall there with the big paper clips. Those are the forecast models of the day -- black and white off a huge dot-matrix printer that used to whirl away incessantly in a small room right next door that we accessed via glass sliding door. My first job each day was to take the mounds of paper, tear off each piece, and sort them via model and forecast time, and then take down each chart and clip the new one on the top. (There were actually about 20 different clips there, you only are seeing a few. And we did recycle!)

About 3-4 years later as the Internet came more expansive, we could get the models online (in color!) and no more need for the printer. The quiet was bliss :)

What about now? When we moved into Fisher Plaza in 2000, of course our first request was that we have a window. They did better than that, giving us a corner with our own weather deck, as you've seen many times on our broadcasts since.

Steve Pool did this "behind the scenes" video a few years ago and it does a great job of explaining what we do now. It sure is amazing how much things have changed!