Articles / History of The Weather Channel
Page updated: January 10, 2018
May 2, 1982The big debut
The network signs on the air for the first time from its studios on Mt. Wilkinson Parkways in Atlanta. Premiere meteorologists are Bruce Edwards and Andre Bernier.
Original on-air meteorologists Andre Bernier and Karen Minton.
Marshall Seese, Jeff Morrow, Jeanetta Jones, Jim Cantore, and Marny Stanier.
June 20, 1986For Everything You Do
The network relaunches as "The New Weather Channel," and includes a makeover of its on-air presentation complete with new set. New programming included "The Morning Report," "Weather and You," "Weather Watch," "Tomorrow's Outlook," "Pacific Outlook," "The Week Ahead," "This Weekend," and "Weekend Update." The morning and evening programming blocks are now anchored by Liz Jarvis and Dave Nemeth and Dennis Smith and Charlie Welsh, respectively. A new on-air campaign, "You Need Us For Everything You Do," is launched as well.
1987First special broadcasts
"Eye Of The Storm," a one-hour special with taped and live segments hosted by Colleen Wine, hurricane expert John Hope and meteorologist Glenn Schwartz is broadcast.
Dan Pope, Keith Westerlage, and Cheryl Lemke.
Gay Dawson, Neal Estano Jerry Tracey, and Colleen Wine.
September 1, 1987New flavors added
A host of new Local Forecast flavors, including A, B and C (:50); H (1:00); J (3:00); and an unnamed 1:30 that was the forerunner to the more-familiar K flavor that premiered in 1990 debut.
Vivian Brown, Cindy Preszler, Carl Arredondo, Kam Karman, and Mike Bono.
Dave Watson and Mary Brown.
The network relocates its studios to Cumberland Parkway.
"Clash Of Seasons" (severe storms), "Global Crisis" (greenhouse effect), and "John Hope On Hurricanes."
June 1, 1988First live show debuts
"Drought Watch," a live call-in show, aired twice daily during the summer is broadcast. The show is hosted by John Doyle in the mornings. In July, Jeff Morrow hosts an evening version of the show.
September 1, 1988Second show debuts and is later cancelled
"WeatherView," a weekend program hosted by Liz Jarvis, premieres. However, the show is discontinued by the end of the year.
September 17, 1988First major live storm coverage
The network ramps up its commitment to live event coverage, dispatching OCM Dennis Smith and anchor Liz Jarvis to the Gulf of Mexico for on-site coverage of Hurricane Gilbert's landfall.
1989For Everything You Do
The network upgrades its on-air marketing with a new music cue and graphics for its tried-and-true "For Everything You Do" campaign.
New set debuts
A new set debuts, introducing the "Forecast Center" to viewers.
Dan Pope, Liz Jarvis, and John Doyle.
"Bringing Home The Weather" with Dennis Smith (a series of specials).
April 1, 1989Flavor changes
A programming lineup overhaul includes the introduction of the I and G :30 second local forecast flavors. Additionally, the J 3:00 flavor moves into weekday prime time after originally being created for the weekend daytime lineup.
November 1, 1989Morning anchor format discontinued
The anchor format for the morning daypart is discontinued.
1990Cable Ace Award winner
The network is presented a Cable ACE award from the National Academy of Cable Programming for its coverage of Hurricane Hugo the year before.
"Within Our Power" (solar and wind power generation), "Force Four" (Hurricane Hugo), and "Aftershock" (San Francisco earthquake of 1989).
June 1, 1990Flavor changes
The network updates its morning day-part programming and discontinues all-three :50 LF forecast flavors, but the K flavor makes its premiere.
July 1, 1990The WeatherSTAR 4000 debuts
The WeatherSTAR 4000 makes its debut on certain cable systems. The new units are a vast improvement over the previous STARs, incorporating animated graphics and current radar composites.
July 2, 1990The Weather Channel's logo
The Weather Channel logo appears for the first time on the local forecast.
September 1, 1990Segments dropped
Individual segments such as "Weather Watch" and "The Morning Report" are dropped.
September 20, 1990The universal playlist debuts
The multiple playlist format is scrapped, with all cable and satellite viewers receiving the same audio feed during local forecast segments. Only the narration differs.
The network launches its first commercial foray into telecommunications forecasting with 1-900-WEATHER.
Charlie Welsh takes over as narrator during specials
Charlie Welsh takes over as off-camera narrator for specials beginning with "Danger's Edge." A job he holds until his retirement from the network in 1996.
Terri Smith, Dave Schwartz, Lisa Spencer, and Tom Chisholm.
Diane Barone, Kam Karman, Kevan Ramer, George Elliott, and Carl Arredondo.
"The Unforgiving Sky" (drought) and "Danger's Edge" (Hurricanes).
February 1, 1991Weather You Can Always Turn To
The on-air look is updated with new graphics and show openers as the channel adopts its "Weather You Can Always Turn To" campaign.
Jodi Saeland, Mike Seidel, Brad Edwards, Jill Brown, and Rick Griffin (an original staff member who had left the network eight years earlier).
Vince Miller and Bill Schubert.
Specials this year include "The Enemy Wind" (tornadoes), as well as "The Dark Days Of August" (Hurricane Andrew), and "El Nino: Drought to Deluge."
The Weather Classroom debuts
The Weather Classroom, a daily 10-minute segment for school students, debuts.
August 24, 1992Around the clock
The network's coverage of Hurricane Andrew's landfall is unprecedented: It goes around the clock for the monster storm's landfall and sends OCMs Dennis Smith and Jim Cantore to Florida to cover the big event.
"Fire Safe" (a joint production with the State of California) and "Out of the Blue" (wind shear).
March 12, 1993Superstorm '93 coverage with two specials
The network goes wall-to-wall with coverage of the east coast Superstorm. It follows that quickly with a "Super Weekend" of specials that included a 30 minute documentary on the storm and "The Climate Puzzle" the day after.
"Headlines" debuts and is shown during the 8pm ET hour. The show consists of 10 minutes of continuous weather coverage, followed by a J flavor (also known as the LL flavor) LF. The show runs during 30 minute programming blocks which feature fewer commercials and LFs.
"The Year The Sky Fell" (active weather from spring to winter '93/'94), "Target Tornado," and "The Burning Season" (wildfires).
1995Headlines leads to WeatherScope
The network adopts the title "WeatherScope" for its half-hour programming blocks.
Kristina Abernathy, Janine D'Adamo (Albert), Gene Rubin (who had worked at the network for a brief period during its early days), and Kim Perez (who originally joined the network in 1991 as a forecaster).
Lisa Spencer and Tom Chisholm.
"The Chase" (tornadoes) and "Hurricanes 95: Season on Edge."
February 2, 1995CompuServe TWCFORUM launches
The network launches a forum on CompuServe. Originally run by Weather Channel employees, forum control is later given to a CompuServe employee shortly thereafter. Around the same time, weather.com debuts as "The Weather Channel Interactive."
March 1, 1995Flavor changes/narration discontinued
Local Forecast flavors are dramatically consolidated. The "Local Update" page that includes NowCast information from the National Weather Service is added to certain flavors. Narration of the local forecast is discontinued.
January 1, 1996Custom-made music debuts on the LF
The music of Trammell Starks debuts. Mr. Starks created a set of close to 40 songs that The network would use throughout the next two years. It would later use several of these tracks as background music for its WeatherScan Local channel, as well as back-up music for whenever the regular playlist or WeatherSTAR failed to load (thus replacing the long-standing use of Travel Forecast music).
1996In-house specials discontinued
Specials produced by the network were discontinued. For nearly four years the network didn't have any specials. Instead, pouring its resources into upgrading its on-air look and live weather coverage.
Warren Madden, Dan Atkinson, Paul Emmick, and Bob Stokes.
Brad Edwards, Bonnie McLaughlin, and Jodi Saeland.
"The Power of Weather" (education), "Great Weather Disasters," and "Tornado Chase 96."
Weather.com's interface and graphics are upgraded substantially.
March 1, 1996No Place On Earth Has Better Weather
The network introduces the "No Place on Earth Has Better Weather" campaign which is followed quickly by the most significant makeover of its on-air appearance yet; including new promos, intros, and graphics.
Lisa Mozer, Myke Motley, and Kristin Dodd.
Storm experts make their debut
The network begins using more weather experts during storm coverage, with expanded on-air roles for senior forecasters such as Stu Ostro, Colin Marquee and Jamie Simpson.
March 1997New location and studio
A brand new studio premieres after the network relocates again. Shortly thereafter, TWC discontinues tours of its studio and premises.
Another on-air makeover includes the renaming of the network's half-hour programming blocks from "WeatherScope" to "WeatherCenter" and the premiere of a very popular, self-deprecating campaign proclaiming "Weather Fans You're Not Alone."
Steve Lyons (who joins John Hope in reporting and analyzing tropical weather developments).
Weather.com receives another upgrade in its appearance.
July 1, 1998Quarterly LF music playlists debut
The network adopts a standardized, 3-month cycle for its Local Forecast music playlists.
1999Filler spots debut
P. Allen Smith, a gardening expert (who never seems to get dirty), premieres in special features on the network.
Heather Tesch, Paul Goodloe, Carl Parker, John Scala, and Nick Walker.
Storm expert arrivals
Paul Kocin (winter weather) and Greg Forbes (severe storms).
The WeatherSTAR XL debuts
The WeatherStar XL premieres on limited cable systems with greatly improved graphics and animation.
Kelly Cass, Melissa Barrington, Jennifer Lopez, Jen Carfagno.
In the summer, the network's first traditional documentary program in nearly four years is broadcast.
January 2000Your Weather Today
"Your Weather Today", a daily two-hour morning program debuts. It stars Marshall Seese and Heather Tesch (anchors), as well Dennis Smith (travel analyst) and John Scala (storm analyst). The show includes a new set in the TWC Forecast Center.
March 2000First Outlook
"First Outlook", an early-morning program geared toward early-rising professionals debuts. Rick Griffin and Cheryl Lemke host.
Narration returns to the local forecast
Computerized narration is added to portions of the WeatherSTAR XL.
"Weekend Now", a new weekend morning program with Bill Keneely, Mark Mancuso, Kelly Cass and Melissa Barrington debuts.
TWC's first regularly-scheduled scripted long-form program, "Atmospheres" debuts. The show airs Wednesdays at 8pm. Original broadcasts air until early 2003. Jim Cantore hosts with Boston weathercaster Mish Michaels. It is produced in partnership with an outside production company.
"Evening Edition", a two-hour program from 9-11 pm ET weeknights debuts in the summer. Original hosts include Paul Goodloe, Carl Parker, Jennifer Lopez and Kristina Abernathy.
Mike Bono and Will Annen.
Long-form programming development continues with "Storm Week," which includes four new documentary specials premiering over a four-day period.
WeatherSTAR XL update
WeatherSTAR XL's on-air appearance and flavor-lineups are altered that fall to coincide with the network's new on-air appearance.
February 2001weather.com relaunch
Weather.com's appearance is upgraded once again.
June 2001Network relaunch
Yet another overhaul of on-air promos and intros is unveiled.
Nick Walker and Kim Perez succeed Rick Griffin and Cheryl Lemke as hosts of "First Outlook."
Your local 36 hour forecast
The National Weather Service-provided 36-hour forecasts on the WeatherStar XL are dropped in favor of The Weather Channel's own forecast products. Eventually, National Weather Service forecasts are phased out on all WeatherStar platforms.
May 2002The Weather Channel turns 20
The network commemorates its 20th anniversary with a retrospective and behind-the-scenes special. Around the same time, former Landmark Communications CEO Frank Batten's "The Weather Channel: The Improbable Rise of a Media Phenomenon" hits book stores nationwide.