2.3 Weather on the Flip Side: Looking back at One of the Weather Bureau’s Early PR Efforts

Monday, 8 January 2018: 11:00 AM
Room 2 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Sean Potter, Weatherwise Magazine, Washington, DC

For two decades, from the mid-1940s until the mid-1960s, the United States Weather Bureau engaged in an educational outreach and public relations campaign that involved the publication of special articles on the reverse side of the Daily Weather Map publication.

These articles, which came to be known as "map-back articles" or simply "map-backs," covered a wide range of topics and provided the bureau with a new and unique method for distributing information to its constituents of avid weather enthusiasts, media outlets, and the general public. Often well-illustrated, the articles covered a wide range of topics related to weather, climate, and meteorology — including various aspects of the Weather Bureau’s operations and the value of its products and data to industry and the public.

This presentation — based on the author’s 2009 Weatherwise article of the same title — will focus on the history of the Map-Back series and feature several examples that showcase some of the more interesting topics covered. It will also discuss how the articles were produced, relying on summaries from internal Weather Bureau publications from the time, as well as the personal account of the author of one of the articles, AMS Honorary Member William H. Haggard.

- Indicates paper has been withdrawn from meeting
- Indicates an Award Winner