Weatherman “Dr. John” Walls Has Died


There was a time in Portland TV when there were only just a handful of weather people and it wasn’t all that long ago.  Because there were so few, you got to know those guys very well!  When I was growing up (mid 70s to late 80s) and watching the weathercasts in the evenings, it was usually Jim Bosley at KATU, Jim Little at KGW, and Dr. John Walls at KOIN.  That was it.  David Apple did weather at KPTV from time to time, but I hardly watched because back then there wasn’t much I watched on KPTV other than Star Trek reruns.  If you remember KPTV had no network affiliation until sometime in the 1990s so the programming wasn’t very exciting for a 8-15 year old.

I just found out today Dr. John has died.

His obituary is here:

I did get to meet him just once, in the mid 90s; a few years after I started at KOIN (I was there 1993-2000).  He stopped by to visit some ex-coworkers.  He sounded EXACTLY like I remembered him when growing up…very cool to meet someone you watched EVERY night on TV.  Back then there was no Internet, no cell phones, no texting, no cable (for me), no Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc…  You just plunked down on the couch and watched TV in the evening or you actually talked to other people/kids in person.  Well, maybe a game of Space Invaders on the Atari 2600, but that was it for entertainment.

My best memory of him is the weather maps!  Remember how he’d calmly glide from one to another to another yet his speech never wavered?  He may have even had a thick black pen to highlight stuff, but I don’t remember that.

If you are older than 35-40, you probably remember him…what are YOUR thoughts?

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

122 Responses to Weatherman “Dr. John” Walls Has Died

  1. Eugene Dave says:

    Yikes. Weather is downright disgusting at the moment. Low 40’s and heavy cold rain in Eugene. Feels like January in a normal winter, not mid April.

  2. Hal in Aims says:

    temp was 54 before the rain started….. the front went through at 5:30……temp now 39…….

  3. MountainMan says:

    Is it me or has it been unusually long since Mark has posted? Interesting system coming in tonight. Snow maybe dipping briefly below 2000 ft. Hail and thunder possible tomorrow and then perfect low 70’s look on tap after that.

  4. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    And day two…

  5. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    The Dalles Mountain Ranch…beautiful place!

  6. schmit44 says:

    4/12/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:73 at ILLINOIS VALLEY(1389 ft) & MERLIN SEED ORCH(1144 ft)
    Low: 46 at ROWEWS(104 ft) & WYETH(102 ft) & LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft)

    High:32 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 7 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 49 degrees
    Horse Ridge (US (63/14 ) (4160 ft )
    Lorella (63/14) (4160 ft)
    CHRISTMAS VALLEY (63/14) (4360 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.37″ at DW6659 Colton(825ft)
    0.28″ at EW1135 Yachats1(32ft)
    0.26″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)

  7. schmit44 says:

    The 00z GFS makes me smile 🙂

  8. MasterNate says:

    Magic 8 ball says 2nd half of April looking mighty fine.

  9. steve says:

    Can we get a current update?

  10. Lee Wilson says:

    Woke up to reading my thermometer, my eyes about popped out of my head when I read how cold it was.

    If this is what a year with out a summer felt like, then I don’t want to sit in real life..

    I am using a heater in the green house to keep things thriving.

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      This is mid April. It is not Summer. It is not at all unusual to have a cold morning out away from the city this time of year, Wait a few days and you will see warmer conditions. Peace.

    • Lee Wilson says:

      I don’t remember. This craziness last April.

      I think we are going to have a cooler then usual summer this year in my opinion.

      Which means..I may not have pumpkins unless I grow then in a green house 🙂

    • David B. says:

      I don’t know much about where you are but there was frost on April 27th last year for me, and I remember there being frost in April many years in the various places I’ve lived in the Pacific NW (all in the lowlands west of the Cascades). Freezing low temperatures in April really aren’t that unusual here, particularly when you get away from the inner city heat islands.

    • Ted Berry says:

      I live near the Clackamas river close to Barton Park at 300 ft. elevation and we can and do have late freezes into May with the latest being May 15

  11. schmit44 says:

    4/11/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    High:64 at LAKE OWHEE AND O(2400 ft)
    Low: 51 at HEPP(311 ft) & DW0462 Umatilla(390 ft)

    High:28 at Rim(7050 ft) & Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 18 at Mount Hood Meado (6601 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 28 degrees
    Lorella (56/28 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.40″ at RED HILL(4400ft)
    1.30″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2630ft)
    1.30″ at NORTH FORK(3120ft)
    1.30″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    1.30″ at LITTLE MEADOWS(4000ft)
    1.19″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)

  12. Garron near Washington square says:

    I just watched a special on TV called ‘ WHAT ON EARTH SERIES’ about a place in South America called Maricaibo Basin. This place sounds so awesome, that I just added it to my bucket list of must see’s!
    They experience lightening every day. To the tune of 1,000 strikes p/hour, 10 hours per day! Scientists are only now just beginning to try understand why this occurs. They apparently experience a freakish newly discovered, but not yet understood phenomena called “DARK LIGHTENING” that occurs due to gamma ray type radiation. Sooo going to take a vacation there in the very near future.

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