Weather Watchers Gather To Say Farewell To George Kessler

By KBJR News 1

February 14, 2011 Updated Feb 14, 2011 at 12:10 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- For years, our weather was brought to you by George Kessler and assisted by his network of weather watchers.

Now that George is moving away, the weather watchers gathered today to say goodbye.

Dave Anderson tells us why it is important to have such of network of eyes in the sky.

Nancy Olson in Embarrass, Al Ringer in Brimson; the weather watcher names have been on the air for 17 years but few have ever met.

That problem was solved Sunday when many of them got together to say goodbye to meteorologist George Kessler.
George began the program in 1993.

"I started the weather watchers because I grew up in a rural area and I wanted my town on the news. There wasn't a city within 80 miles so they were never going to mention us."

Aaron Debaiso from Proctor, Char Godec from Hibbing; they are just two of the names of people who've phoned in weather data over the years.

George's desire to give shout outs to towns not covered by official weather stations still resonates with young meteorologists like Jeff Edmondson.

"It also fills the spaces where the actual weather sites are and where they aren't."

Maggie and her son John from Four Corners, Loran Wappes from Cloquet; all got to meet and greet and take a break from keeping an eye on the sky.

"I've been waiting for this for years, to meet the other weather watchers because I hear about them every night on TV and I always wonder what does Sharon from Little Fork look like?"

Sharon and Craig from Bayfield didn't get to meet Sharon Lindvall from Little Fork because she was unable to make the trip south.
They did get to see what Zeke from Alborn looks like as well as Melonie from Meadowlands.

New chief meteorologist Adam Clark feels the weather data from these people remains important and will keep the program going.

"Oh yeah, this program will go on for years to come. This is an awesome way for me to figure out this market."

The weather watcher summit and farewell to George wasn't all fun and games.

Time was taken to reminisce about weather watchers who have passed away over the years; some from old age and some far too young.

George says he will miss the daily phone messages from people like Shirley from Gordon and Dennis from Finland when he moves to the East Coast to be nearer his children.

"That's a given. I'll miss hearing 30 second snippets of your life."

If you live in a town that's not covered by a National Weather Service reporting site or that's not already on the weather watcher list, please consider joining our network of weather spotters.

Write to Chief Meteorologist Adam Clark in care of the station