Forecaster, father, and friend of WUWT, John Coleman, founder of the Weather Channel, passes away

It is with great sadness that I announce this. John Coleman was a true hero of mine, and a great friend. He made gigantic contributions to television, to weather forecasting, and even to the National Weather Service who changed and upgraded many of their methods to accommodate the visionary ideas he had in founding the Weather Channel.

In 1983, Coleman won the American Meteorological Society award for Outstanding Service by a Broadcast Meteorologist. The organization credited Coleman for “his pioneering efforts in establishing a national cable weather channel,” according to the AMS website.

I last saw John Coleman a couple of months ago in Chicago at a gathering of TV meteorologists and climate skeptics. He was as jovial and as witty as ever.

To say “he will be missed”, is an understatement.


From NBC, San Diego,

John Coleman, the jovial and energetic meteorologist who delighted San Diego television viewers for two decades and angered scientists for insisting that climate change is a hoax, died Saturday. He was 83.

Coleman died at his home in Las Vegas, while surrounded by family, according to KUSI-TV, where he served as a forecaster from 1994 to 2014, when he retired.

john-coleman

John Coleman at KUSI-TV, a few years ago. He lived much of his professional life in front of the green-screen chroma-key.

His retirement capped a 60-year career during which Coleman co-founded the Weather Channel, which began as a little seen offering in the early days of cable television to a popular source of coverage of everything from blizzards and hurricanes to California’s wind-driven wildfires.

Alex Tardy, a forecaster at the National Weather Service, said Sunday,

“‘This is a big loss for the weather community. He brought a lot of energy and color and enthusiasm to forecasting. My kids loved watching him on TV.”

Tardy also said Coleman never tried to push his skepticism about climate change being man made.

“We had good talks,” Tardy said. “I enjoyed it.’


My condolences to his family, and to his extended professional family, and to his friends who worked along with him, especially his co-founding partner, Joe D’Aleo.

ADDED:

In his second to last comment on WUWT, back in September 2017, John said this in response to this story: Guardian: Climate Denial is the Fault of Old White People

I am old

I am white

I am a denier

Guess they are correct. I will die. So will the others. Then things will be settled.

Got it.

This was my all-time favorite comment from him, in response to WUWT’s 10 year milestone:

10 years. What is the big deal. I worked two of my several jobs for 20 plus years and no one even noted the tenth anniversary. Anthony, you have a great website, you are a great friend and a hero of mine. Now, cancel the celebration and get back to work. The next eight years (the Trump administration) will be super big for you and your website. Hundreds of thousands of people are going to become interested the skeptical view of global warming/ climate change. I have already noted an uptick for my essay. Your site is about to explode with new readers. Do your best work starting now and don’t stop until the victory is yours.

Thanks John, for everything.


UPDATE: I spoke with his wife Linda, who called me this morning with the news just after I had posted this. She said his death was “sudden and unexpected”, but was likely related to his COPD illness he had been battling. I also spoke to Joe D’Aleo, who was his TWC  co-founder. My heart goes out to both of them.

Joe and John had been working on a book about the founding of the Weather Channel, the trials, and tribulations of it, and the successes of those early years. Joe said he will be finishing the book, and adding a final chapter.

No arrangements have been made yet. I’ll add an update when I know.

– Anthony

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R. Shearer

I’m saddened for this great loss. Condolences to family, friends and like minded intellectuals.

JON R SALMI

He was a soldier for scientific truth and will be missed.

Grant

Safe home, John. An amazing guy who can’t help but leave a sad void upon his passing. To all who knew and loved him well, my condolences.

lance

Will be dearly misses

Thanks for letting us know. I use some of his material when I give a Climate Change lecture (how it started in the US) and so he will live on in my class.

Virgil Russell

A calm, sane voice in this era of alarmism. He will be very much missed!v

Bob Burban

So sad ….

F. Leghorn

The first time I have been sad reading this site. May he rest in peace.

David Wells

Lovely guy what can I say John Colman is someone I will always miss. No cant no humbug John just told it the way it is. My sister in law died the same way Bronchiectasis but Doreen lived in Ringmer in Sussex and stop smoking at 24 though Doreen did not smoke heavily. So much for living in the country next door to a farm and open fields and dying age 70 from a complaint supposedly caused – if you listen to alarmists – by air pollution.

John F. Hultquist

Genetics plays a role in such things. My father’s side of the family, males live to mid-80s. Meanwhile, a female cousin is soon to be 100. On her father’s side, males have mostly died at about 100.

Regardless of the circumstances, we grieve when a friend dies.

Roy W. Spencer

Nice tribute, Anthony.

kaliforniakook

Didn’t know him by name, but I’ve enjoyed the show he developed. Thanks for introducing us. I would have enjoyed his views.

Jeff Brokaw

He was an absolute legend in TV weather in Chicago during the 70s, funny and personable and entertaining as hell. ABC channel 7, 10pm, must see TV before that became a thing. Made up new words like “thorms” etc. One of a kind. RIP.

My condolences. COPD is tough, but often a consequence of past smoking. Bottom line is ‘suffocation’.

John F. Hultquist

Anything that decreases oxygen in the blood has a detrimental effect on body organs. Heart damage or related issues will do that. Cardiologists will try to get patients to do what it takes to keep oxygen supplied to those organs. Ask my wife. She never smoked.

commieBob

The term ‘COPD’ snuck up behind my back while I wasn’t paying attention. A quick google produces the following:

It is said to be the third leading cause of death in US. …

COPD consists of two conditions:
Bronchitis: …
Emphysema: …
link

Apparently COPD can be caused by anything that irritates the lungs. Emphysema took my father-in-law, a farmer exposed to dust and chemicals, way too young.

Perry

Another cause of COPD is Alpha 1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (AATD), a genetic disorder caused by inheriting two defective genes. The gene which produces Alpha 1 Antitrypsin in the normal way is called M. The gene which causes AAT deficiency is called Z. Because everyone inherits two genes, there are three possible combinations of these genes: MM, MZ or ZZ. These combinations are called genotypes.

I am ZZ, My brother is MZ, as are my three sons. They are carriers & have sufficient Alpha 1 Antitrypsin to protect their lungs. I do not. With hindsight, I realise that from a young age I did not have the endurance of my friends. I became winded after running a quarter mile & when swimming underwater, I always came up for air first. I have never smoked & enjoyed many sports including weight training, cycling & dinghy sailing.

Now at 75 , the symptoms are severe. My heart & lungs are damaged & I doubt I’ll make it to the end of 2018.
It is believed that perhaps 1 in 25 of people with some Scandinavian ancestry are carriers. There is no routine testing for the condition in the UK, which means that as many as 20,000 people remain undiagnosed here.
There are many, many people in the USA with Scandinavian ancestry, so the numbers could be much higher. At present, it’s incurable. Augmentation therapy is a treatment where Alpha 1 Antitrypsin (AAT) is given into your veins to increase the levels in your body. The idea is to try and slow down the progression of COPD caused by AATD. It’s available in other countries, but not currently approved in the UK, because it is very expensive. https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0221/4446/files/IS3_A1AD_2017_PDFdownload.pdf?2561858438333952516&_ga=2.150820661.2090967277.1516608086-1876370898.1516608086

Hugs

Perry, while not on-topic I’m glad I heard on this.

Here’s a paper on the prevalence of the Z allele.
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0954611111000515

It seems the AATD allele frequency 1/25 in some parts of the Scandinavian peninsula is correct, which means this disease is not strictly a rarity there. There are very very many rare diseases with low frequency – rare is something that has insidence under 1/2000. Combined those rarities make up a large bulk of people with some illness.

Perry

Thank you Hugs.

ClimateOtter

Blast. A very good man. The world is a bit poorer today.

Onward and upward to better things, John. See ya ’round.

heysuess

Very nice. Now, let’s hear, right here, from those scientists he is said to have ‘angered’. I’ll bet we hear more from those many more scientists who applauded him.

Robertvd

Thanks John.

Brett Keane

I can only add my respects. We should ask ourselves what John would say, when we get a little intransigent…..Brett

Scarface

Thank you, John Coleman, for having been a voice of reason. May you rest in peace.
My condolences to your family and friends.

Mreed

So sad to hear the passing of a wonderful man. I enjoyed watching a video he did on you tube about climate. He did so much good for all of us and we should take a moment to reflect and be grateful for all he has done.

Steve Keohane

God speed John. Thank you for your dedication to our weather. I’ll never forget in the mid 80s getting cable TV with the Weather Channel and close to real time radar. I was awed to be able to go outside and match what was on the screen with my own eyes. Thank you.
Thanks for posting this Anthony.

PaulH

Wow. Saddened to hear this. Condolences to his family and friends.

Bob Webster

I remember John from many years ago on TV. He was always a great meteorologist and was absolutely correct about the climate change fraud. He will be missed more than most people understand because he was a powerful force behind the scenes. Condolences to his family and all his friends, especially Joe D’Aleo.

Richard Keen

I first met John about 10 years ago at a Heartland Climate Conference, and saw him just a few months ago, also at a Heartland gathering. But somehow we would always talk about a mutual friend from 50 years ago that influenced both of our lives – the 1967 Big Snow in Chicago. John was always spunky, articulate, pithy, opinionated, and informed, an old style forecaster who preferred his experience and intuition over the models (both weather forecast and climate models, may I add). A brief chat with John would make your day.
We’ll miss him, but he had a very full life and I’m sure he enjoyed every second of it.

My hero!
What a loss.

Janice Moore

John Coleman

Enthusiastic

David Madsen: “… I grew up watching John Coleman’s Weather Forecasts. … And all of you that watch this [2010 TV special], if you think he’s pretty old [at 75], you should see how he ends his forecast on Friday nights. ‘It’s FRIDAAAAYYYY!!!!!’ he shouts and leaps up into the air spinning around and runs out of the studio. …”

(http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/14/john-colemans-tv-special-tonight-global-warming-the-other-side/#comment-290322 )

Janice Moore

Encouraging

John Coleman: “Joe, Congratulations on putting the new deal together. I know it will be a huge success. You are one of my heroes. Count on me to watch/read your stuff every day.”

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/02/21/joe-bastardi-resigns-at-accuweather-after-32-years/#comment-604469 )

John Coleman: “How horrid, Dr. Drapela, that you and your family are paying this huge price for your contrarian position on the cause and nature of global warming. … a university is supposed to be different, a special enclave free of these pressures where contrarian views and debate are treasured and protected. …

I am in your corner, for what it is worth. Good luck.”

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/06/11/climate-skeptic-instructor-fired-from-oregon-state-university/#comment-1007161 )

Janice Moore

Entrepreneurial

30 Years Ago, Today, the Weather Channel Went Live

“… On May 2nd of 1982, John Coleman launched The Weather Channel with the help of a small army of very talented people. I’m proud to have played a small part of this part of unique American broadcast history. Here’s my interview with the founder of the Weather Channel, John Coleman:

… Atlanta, GA on April 28th, 2012 … John describes how the ego of GMA’s lead news anchor, David Hartman, and his need to take ‘whatever time he needed and the weatherman could have what’s left,’ was the impetus to create TWC. The pioneering effort of John Coleman and the 148 people who started a highly technical, never-before-attempted, 24/7 live weather network from scratch is summarized in this video. [video]

UPDATE 5/2/12: Here’s Joe D’Aleo talking about the challenges of hiring a staff when the TWC was nothing but an empty floor in a building. Plus his favorite blooper. [video]” – Anthony Watts

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/05/02/30-years-ago-today-the-weather-channel-went-live/ )

Janice Moore

Greathearted

Antarctica, Akademic Shokalskiy

“Today, while shopping at lunchtime for some last minute year end supplies, I got one of the strangest cell-phone calls ever. It was from my friend John Coleman, the founder of the Weather Channel and Chief meteorologist at KUSI-TV in San Diego. He was calling via cell phone from his car, and he was on his way into the TV station early. He started off by saying, Anthony, we have a really strange situation here. Then, to my surprise, he relayed a conversation he had just had: a person on the Akademik Shokalskiy had reached out, because they didn’t have adequate weather data on-board. At first, I thought John was pulling my leg, but then, as he gave more details, I realized he was serious. ***

I knew just what to send, because it was something that had been discussed several times by commenters on WUWT. When I got back to the office, I no more than pulled up the bookmark and press send on the email with a brief description of the operational weather data model that covered the region and John Coleman was on the phone again. He asked me to talk to Dave Scott … .

***

John Coleman and Dave Scott put together a video news story which ran on the KUSI 6PM News tonight. … [video link in this WUWT article] ***

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/12/31/wuwt-and-weatherbell-help-kusi-tv-with-a-weather-forecasting-request-from-ice-trapped-ship-in-antarctica-akademik-shokalskiy/ )

Janice Moore

John Coleman: “Anthony, I want you to be part of this first test group … Do whatever you have to do to regain your hearing. *** If you need donations to cover the cost, set up an account. Let’s make this happen.”

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/04/23/hearing-restoration-with-gene-therapy-i-knew-this-day-would-come/#comment-1620124 )

John Coleman: “Joe, you are a hero of mine. You stepped aside from your pursuit of a Ph.D. way back when to join me in the battle to bring meaningful, accurate weather forecasts to Good Morning, America and when the Producers and David Hartman made that impossible, you worked side by side with me to design The Weather Channel. And when I finally (after a four-year search) came up with funding, you devoted your entire life and energy for several years to bring the TV weather service we envisioned into reality on TV screens across the United States. While you received only meager rewards for your accomplishments, you are admired and respected by thousands of TV Meteorologists for what you did. I am humbled by your knowledge, skill and humanity. May the balance of your life be ever so sweet Dr. D’Aleo.”

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/05/19/congratulations-to-joe-doc-daleo/#comment-1640744 )

Janice Moore

Bold Truth Teller

John Coleman, Founder of The Weather Channel had this to say: It is very gratifying to hear of the formation of The Open Atmospheric Society. A new Meteorological organization and scientific publication have been greatly needed for more than a decade. It is unfortunate that the American Meteorological Society has become totally politicized and conducts itself in total violation of the basic scientific principle of open debate … I allowed my Professional Membership in the AMS expire many years ago after being an active member … for many years. Several events occurred that made it clear to me that the society was in the control of people who were using it to complete their personal agendas and the Society would was becoming closed and dogmatic. I look forward to membership in the OAS.

(https://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/09/16/a-new-professional-society-for-meteorology-and-climatology-is-announced/ )

Janice Moore

10 years. *** The next eight years (the Trump administration) will be super big for you and your website. *** Do your best work starting now and don’t stop until the victory is yours.

(See above article)

An Exhortation to Honor a True Champion of Truth and Liberty

Anthony: A lukewarm swamp with only an occasional rock of strongly argued, solid, CO2 science is not what John Coleman had in mind. It is time to re-group. Do as you did in the past, until around 2014, your best work to get the facts out about human CO2. Make – WUWT — great — again.

True gratitude will honor John Coleman.

Janice Moore

There is a time for everything … a time to weep …

We mourn the loss of this fine man.

One More Day (Diamond Rio)

(youtube)

We also …

celebrate a life well-lived.

”It’s FRIDAAAAYYYY!!!!!” he shouts and leaps up into the air spinning around and runs out of the studio. …

… a time to dance …

(Ecclesiastes 3:4)

Well done, John Coleman. Well done.

J Mac

A superlative eulogy, Janice….. of a generous life well lived.

Janice Moore

Thanks, J Mac (hey, those Packers have been doing alright, huh? 🙂 ).

Janice, thank you.

Luc Ozade

Well said Janice. When meaningful words are called for, you can be counted on to supply them.

Thank you John Coleman for your wisdom, energy, enthusiasm, knowledge and perception. You will be very sadly missed. My sincere condolences to John’s family.

HotScot

With the greatest of respect to those who are, were I religious, I would wish John God speed.

I don’t believe the human spirit is extinguished by death, so I hope he returns as a climate sceptic virus.

GeologyJim

Sad day for weather/climate science. John C was an observationist and scrupulous about weather history and documented facts. No one should be surprised that he was also known as a gentleman with an appropriate sense of humor

Those are characteristics of true scientists – integrity, humility, and absence of ego. Great man, great loss.

Best wishes to his family and colleagues

J Mac

Larger than life
Sunrise smile
Weatherman extraordinaire
Truth, with Style.

God be with you and yours, John Coleman.

Janice Moore

+1

Gunga Din

Often the regrets of the loss of a public figure are limited to the loss of their contributions to the public
I’m one of the “we” who didn’t know him personally but still regret his loss. Like REP, he sounds like a man I would have liked to have known personally.
My prayers for those to which his loss was personal.

kenji

Ditto. I pray for his surviving family, and hope they find comfort in his passing.

Pop Piasa

Another voice of reason can no more speak, but the words he said will forever stay in the minds of those who carry on the defense of science against the post-modern progressive perversion of it.

Pop Piasa

The skeptic position can only be defeated through attrition.

John F. Hultquist

I may have seen a Weather Channel broadcast a few times, <5. (?)
My only knowledge of John was via WUWT — I always read his comments.
Knowing him via comments – I am saddened.

Pop Piasa

This is one of John’s videos that converted me to skepticism. I have recommended it over and over to folks who claim that they’re skeptics of skepticism. Posted in his memory:

Luc Ozade

Excellent, Pop. Thank you.

Peter

R.I.P John Coleman. I grew up in the Chicago area and remember watching John do the local forcast. I also remember when WLS TV put their transmitter antenna on top of the Sears tower. John did a video where he was dancing on top of the Sears tower singing “I can see clearly now the ghost is gone” to the tune of the Johnny Nash song.
Back in the day with broadcast TV a ghost image was ever present as the video portion of the broadcast is in AM.

Me too .
I was fortunate enough to be able to chat with this icon of my childhood nostalgically ( two ton Baker ) and seriously over some bar closing beers at one of the early Heartland conferences .

Very sad

Trevor

Rip John Coleman

Timo Soren

A sad day. Rest in Peace.

mikebartnz

A sad loss.

Mickey Reno

Condolences to John’s family and to you, his great friend, Anthony. John’s friendly smile will be missed.

He was also a hero of mine. He will be missed.

chrisretusn

Saddened by this news. He was a great man and champion of weather. He will be missed. Condolances to friends and family.

Don B

John Coleman’s essay on global warming:
 
By John Coleman

“Climate Change is happening.” You bet it is. The climate of planet  Earth has been constantly changing for as long as we have any records. Look at the chart below. [etc., etc.]

https://johncolemanblog.com/

Gerald Machnee

John Coleman – we need more people to tell it like it is.
10 year celebration – No, i did not celebrate 10 years at my job, but it was at least 10 years before I took a sick leave day.

co2islife

Climate Skeptics are Modern Day Churchills

Modern climate skeptics share many of the characteristics of Winston Churchill, as well as challenges. Winston Churchill, like Patton, believed that they were born to fulfill a destiny. They both had unwavering confidence in their ability, and the role they would play in shaping world history. They paid untold personal costs and made huge personal sacrifices, all for the unselfish goal of protecting society from itself, or more accurately, the political left. The reward for protecting society and preserving freedom was extreme opposition, criticism, humiliation, failure, underminings, and misguided political demagoguery. Their crime? They were unafraid to speak the unpopular truth and unwaveringly defended it. They were unashamed and unafraid to oppose the political left.
https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/01/22/climate-skeptics-are-modern-day-churchills/

TG

John Coleman is truly an American hero. RIP.

David Ball

Thank you for this post, Anthony. John Coleman, may you rest in peace. One of America’s greatest citizens. Never forgotten.

John was a very honorable man. Let us remember him as such.

So sad to hear, he was a gentleman in the true sense of the world, something few give credit for in this modern age.

Kevin Scasny

I pray John is enjoying eternal life with all the angles and saints. My condolences to his wife and family. I will miss him.

u.k.(us)

Dull-uthhh.

Steamboat Jon

So sad to read of Mr Coleman’s passing. Rest well good sir.