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Carroll County Times
Carroll County

Weather or Not: A fond farewell to Bob Ryan

Earlier today, while conducting an interview with hurricane author Richard Schwartz, I mentioned Tropical Storm Danielle, the type of storm that should have been long forgotten.

It made landfall in Virginia 21 years ago as a relatively weak 65 mph tropical storm and tracked over Maryland's Eastern Shore.

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And yet, I remember the storm and its track.

Part of this is because I'm a weather nerd through and through. I've always been fascinated by tropical storms and hurricanes, particularly those that affect the Mid-Atlantic.

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But the main reason for me remembering this is I still have the tropical storm tracking chart where I carefully plotted Danielle's track. The tracking chart was photocopied from one of Washington meteorologist Bob Ryan's "Almanac for the Weatherwise," an annual print product that could be found in supermarkets for more than two decades.

Ryan, a Washington institution, is retiring Wednesday night after more than 45 years as a broadcast meteorologist. He revolutionized forecasting in so many ways, first through his Almanac, then through his Weather Net 4 Web site. He was a leader for the current WeatherBug network, which features automated weather stations throughout the region. I use them all the time. They are great resources for local weather.

He's a brilliant Twitter follow, always with something interesting to say. Ryan, 70, keeps up with the latest technology. He's always evolving as a forecaster. I can remember when he used to grip a piece of chalk and write on a weather board during his forecasts. We've certainly come a long way since the 1980s, when I eagerly watched his broadcasts before snow storms.

If Bob Ryan said "do your homework," the chances for a snow day weren't great.

In many ways, this is a sad day for those of us who grew up in the Washington TV market. Here's hoping Ryan remains active on Twitter and continues to provide his take on the always challenging Mid-Atlantic forecasts.

Here's a link to his blog farewell:


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