Trust Me, I’m A Meteorologist

Posted: Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 11:46 am
By: Doug Lund
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Weather forecasting is not an exact science, but it’s getting pretty dang close.

When I started in television, way back in the dark ages, forecasts were based, primarily, on barometric pressure readings. Our radar consisted of a black and white camera we had hooked up to the radar screen out at the National Weather Service. A dark grey splotch indicated rain..or hail..or moisture of some kind in the air. Keloland has always considered the weather to be important but, the only real requirement for being a weather man was a quick course in understanding how to read the weather wire..which is about all the information any broadcaster had to go on.

Just for fun, though, we used to regularly consult with Leo Hartig’s uncle; a crusty colorful an old guy named Tabbert, I think, who claimed to possess powers of prognosticating the weather with a reasonable amount of accuracy.  Anyway, we’d prop him up before the camera at the beginning of the season to find out what kind of summer or winter lay ahead.  That would never happen today. We take our weather forecasting VERY seriously.

Leo Hartig Weatherman in the 60's. Unlike his uncle, Leo used the latest scientific information for his forecasts.

Leo Hartig Weatherman in the 60's. Unlike his uncle, Leo used the latest scientific information for his forecasts.

 What was once a simple weather set consisting of a map on which you wrote numbers and symbols with a grease pen, has transformed into “WEATHER CENTRAL” which takes up a third of the Keloland studio and contains hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of sophisticated radars and computer equipment connected to similar systems from all over the country and the world. Our four meteorologists not only have to be skilled communicators, but “scientists” as well in order to decipher, analyze and relay all the information available to them. I have to laugh when I hear some people claim that “Those TV weather guys rarely get it right.” The fact is, these days, they rarely get it wrong!  

I say all this because I’ve been checking the local forecast for next week and it appears my golf season is about to come to an end for another year. I’m really going to miss not only the game, but the great guys that play in our group and just being out on that beautiful piece of ground tucked into the Brandon Valley where I’ve spent so many memorable hours over the last thirty years.

The view from the clubhouse patio is one of the lovliest anywhere.

The view from the clubhouse patio is one of the lovliest anywhere.

  2010 has  been a rough go for most area golf courses, including and especially my home course at Brandon, mainly due to weather;  lots of rainy stormy days have kept golfers away. Because of all the rain, Brandon was hit by a grass-eating fungus in August that gobbled away at the  lush beautiful fairways. Hopes of fixing the problem with a major re-seeding were washed away last month when a torrential downpour caused normally tranquil Split Rock Creek to erupt out of its banks to unheard of high levels. There have been occasions when a couple holes would get flooded but this time the entire course was under water.

Brandon Golf Course underwater in September

Brandon Golf Course underwater in September

 Within a few days though, little Split Rock Creek had to face the reality that its designation as a mighty torrent was only temporary and it quickly and quietly retreated back to its trough. It did leave behind considerable amounts of silt which the remaining grass seedlings have taken a shine to. At least, the fairways are looking the best they have in weeks.

I had my best game of the year when we played on Tuesday so I’m anxious for a shot at one more round to close out the season on Friday. Next week it’s supposed to be rainy and colder. But then, there’s a chance those weather guys don’t have it right. Or is there?


  1. Michael Hartig says:

    The old guy was Ed Tabbert, Leo’s uncle. Ed’s prediction of the first measurable snow of the season was dead on for 2 or 3 years, hence his repeat invitations.

    In addition to the weather wire, in the early 60’s Leo would drive out to the weather bureau station at the airport every day for a large printed map of current and predicted conditions. That’s how he knew where to draw the sqiggly lines.

  2. Christy says:

    You won’t have to miss the game for long as the Legion guys are starting up again here in AZ. I’ll make sure the month of January is free from rain while you’re here!

  3. Corey says:

    Kudos to Kelo. They have the best weather coverage around.

  4. Bob says:

    I really enjoy your vintage KELO photos. It would be great if you and Steve could post more of these on your blogs.

  5. Richard Walters jr. says:

    Doug, just go where my father is, Pharr, Texas . Its in the 90,s this week .bet there,s good golf going on there, As for weather channel 11 is the most watched at our house, i remember Dave dedric? weather too!! Take care Doug..

  6. Joey says:

    Wow, it’s just amazing how much technology has made it much easier for weathermen.

  7. TheBigB says:

    What I miss is Dave Dedrick issuing his classic “brass monkey advisories” about this time of year and then watching Steve Hemmingsen turn purple trying to maintain his composure.

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