Well crap: RIP Harry Wappler

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Longtime weather reporter for Seattle TV Station KIRO passed away this morning after suffering a stroke yesterday. From KIRO:
Long-Time KIRO 7 Meteorologist Harry Wappler Dies
Harry Wappler, the legendary KIRO 7 meteorologist who appeared on Seattle-area television screens longer than any other TV weatherman, died today.

"It is with great sadness that I share with you that we have lost one of our truly special gems today," wrote KIRO 7 Vice President and General Manager Eric Lerner in an e-mail to KIRO 7 employees Wednesday. "Harry Wappler and KIRO will always be connected, and we could not be more proud."

Known for his wit and ability to ad-lib on live television, Harry said his favorite moments were the ones when he made people laugh.

"I think any time you can get a run as long as I�ve had, you can�t have any regrets about it," he told an interviewer when he was awarded a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle award in 1996.
Cliff Mass has a nice memorial on his blog:
Harry Wappler (1936-2010)
It is with great sadness that I note the passing of Harry Wappler, the dean of Northwest weathercasters for over a quarter century. As many of you remember, Harry was the lead meteorologist on KIRO-TV during the 70s, 80s, and 90s. He was one of the most genuine, kind, warm-hearted individuals I have ever met, and a passionate, enthusiastic member of the local weather community.

I got to know him quite well when I returned to UW to join the atmospheric sciences faculty. Although Harry did not have a degree in atmospheric sciences (he had a B.A. in speech from Northwestern and a graduate degree from Yale Divinity School!), he was an avid student of Northwest weather and I learned a great deal from him about the convergence zone and other local weather features. Harry was the TV weathercaster that I would watch. He was a mainstay of the local weather community and secured substantial funding from KIRO to invite a distinguished meteorologist to town each year. The local chapter of the American Meteorological Society would meet at KIRO once a year and Harry always supplied a nice carrot cake. I still remember that carrot cake fondly.

To give you an idea of Harry's involvement with the community, on November 13, 1981 a major storm was offshore. The numerical prediction technology at that time was fairly primitive and without much skill for such events. Harry had a new-fangled invention that the National Weather Service did not possess: a device that could animate satellite imagery, something we take for granted today. An intense storm was obvious in the animation and headed our way. Harry made a tape of the satellite loop and rushed it to the National Weather Service folks who put out a timely and accurate warning. He could have kept it to himself and smoked the other stations, but that was not Harry's way.
Always classy! My favorite of the Seattle television weathermen. His son Andy is filling his shoes but it's not the same dammit!

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 21, 2010 9:57 PM.

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