How Many Of These PDX Weather Personalities Do YOU Remember?

I’ve taken on a little project over the past week.  I’m cataloging names & dates of all the different Portland television weather personalities over the years.  My aim was to go back to 1980 or so, but it turns out I learned so much more about folks from the 1970s.  It’s a huge spreadsheet and I want to thank other weather guys/gals around town who responded to my emails.

Below are 4 pictures (make sure you click on each for a large view), one for each main TV station in Portland.

KPTV:

KPTV

KGW:

KGW

KOIN:

KOIN

KATU:

KATU

  • The longest-serving weather person of all time is (no surprise) Jack Capell.  He worked at KGW from 1956 through 2000…44 years!
  • Jim Little is the only anchor that has worked on all 4 station’s newscasts as a regular…I think.  He went from KGW > KATU > KOIN and was the 10pm KPDX weather anchor for the period where KOIN produced the FOX49 newscast.
  • I’ve only included regulars that “had/have” a specific show/shows.  There are dozens more who might have done fill-in or free-lance work and I can’t account for that.

Please let me know if you happen to know any dates I wasn’t able to figure out.  A QUESTION MARK MEANS I DON’T KNOW WHEN THE PERSON STARTED OR LEFT A STATION

Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen

74 Responses to How Many Of These PDX Weather Personalities Do YOU Remember?

  1. Jason Hougak says:

    It’s days like this I love being a native Oregonian. Blue skies and mountains with snow!

  2. schmit44 says:

    4/15/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:69 at BROOKINGS( 79 ft)
    Low: 45 at Brookings Airpor(459 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:28 at HOWARD Mt Howard(8150 ft)
    Low: 10 at DIMLKE (4726 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 46 degrees
    Lorella (57/11 ) (4160 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.02″ at LOG CREEK(2800ft)
    0.67″ at HORSE CREEK(3402ft)
    0.40″ at Portland-Troutda(36ft)
    0.34″ at Portland Interna(20ft)

  3. Lee Wilson says:

    To many to name.
    Hey I noticed a bobble low system. One to tie east and one directly west of it .
    I noticed their spin is bringing. The colder air in from Canada.

    Why couldn’t we have this set up in November., December, or even January? Would have made excellent snow chances.

  4. Jason Hougak says:

    74″ Base at Timberline, many thanks to the April snow!

  5. I picked up a cool 1″ of snow yesterday. Good times.

  6. What about Daria on WB32?

  7. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    31.5 here, my first freeze since March 10th.

    Looking forward to some dry weather again to get back out in the yard.

    • David B. says:

      Fog formed and held it to 36 here. No frost for me this morning, despite it getting colder quicker yesterday evening. Looks like a run of warmer, drier days is on its way.

    • Lee Wilson says:

      38°F here in Castle Rock clear skies…perfect for running things off solar once the sun rises.

  8. Spring seems to be stuck in the neutral gear here: I’ve recorded a mean temperature of 48.5F (9.1C) for the first 2 weeks of April. That’s actually slightly lower than the first 2 weeks of February.(48.9F). I see from our long range forecast that it’s really going to warm up by the weekend and through next week. Bring the warm air up here! I ‘m tired of seeing the tree leaves here struggling to grow.

    • David B. says:

      Yeah, I’ve had more April frosts than February ones this year.

      But 1978 in Los Alamos, New Mexico still takes the cake for a hard spring following a mild winter. After no snowfalls in excess of about 3″ the whole winter (very unusual) 8 to 12 inches fall on May 2nd.

  9. runrain says:

    Driving home through Milwaukee last night around 6 PM, I am sure that I saw a rotation in the clouds. When I got home to Happy Valley, the ground was covered with marble, yes marble, sized hail. Did anyone else witness that rotation? It was right over the dome. I was amazed that there was no thunder with that cell.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      I think this is the same cell: There actually was thunder with that cell and hail but I never did witness rotation, all i saw was weird looking clouds post to the storm.

    • W7ENK says:

      You’re absolutely right, runrain!!

      I just went back and looked at my dash cam and the rotation went almost dead center through my field of view.

      I’m currently processing the video, I’ll upload it and post it as soon as it’s ready…

    • W7ENK says:

      Jeez, that cloud darn near dropped a funnel on upper NE Milwaukie… O_O!!

    • W7ENK says:

      Here ya go…

      Is that what you saw, runrain? Time stamp is correct.

    • W7ENK says:

      Yup, you can definitely see a brief funnel!!

      Watch to the end, I added the best part of the rotation slowed down to only 4x speed.

    • JohnD says:

      Awesome footage. Thanks guys!

    • Lee Wilson says:

      You guys are lucky.
      This was the only thing I could capture..no clue what this system was doing..it was captured last year.

    • runrain says:

      Cool!! Yep, you got it. My view was from the right side of that angle. I was on McGloughlin just south of Johnson Creek Blvd, and I saw some ragged clouds that sure looked close to a funnel. Anyway, those clouds were circling back in the direction from which the whole cell was moving. Amazing, Erik. And all that time all I could think about was just another burrito wrapper!

    • Eugene Dave says:

      @W7ENK, Awesome capture! Very clear rotation there; about as good as it gets in western Oregon. I’m guessing if a funnel dropped there it would have been considered a cold core funnel. I’m curious if the PDX doppler picked it up.

    • Boring Oregon says:

      I believe that’s a cloud lee.

  10. Lee Wilson says:

    I think from Now on, I won’t speak on tornados .
    I will keep my Predictions to my self.
    I am glad every one is ok.

  11. schmit44 says:

    4/14/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:67 at LAKE OWHEE AND O(2400 ft)
    Low: 46 at HEPP(311 ft) & ROWEWS(104 ft) & DW1265 Newport(164 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:22 at Rim(7050 ft)
    Low: 15 at HOWARD Mt Howard (8150 ft ) & CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 33 degrees
    Rome (59/26 ) (4049 ft )

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    1.40″ at SOUTH FORK BULL(2630ft)
    1.40″ at BLAZED ALDER(3650ft)
    1.40″ at MT HOOD TEST SIT(5400ft)
    1.30″ at HOLLAND MEADOWS(4900ft)
    1.10″ at CASCADE SUMMIT(4880ft)
    1.10″ at SUMMIT LAKE(5600ft)
    1.06″ at DW6659 Colton(825ft)

  12. David B. says:

    Clearing up and it’s a few degrees colder than it was yesterday evening. Given that I had light patchy frost this morning, a frosty morning tomorrow looks to be a good bet… unless clouds move in, that is. More frost for me in April than February this year!

  13. Eugene Dave says:

    Weak tornado reported near Eugene:

    http://www.kptv.com/story/28804111/tornado-flips-vehicle-at-lane-community-college-in-eugene?autostart=true

  14. Jason Hougak says:

    Intense hailstorm right now with thunder

    • Lee Wilson says:

      I feel a tad out of it, I spoke spoke of this.
      I think I will go back to hiding.
      I spoke on something along the lines f an ef 2 or 3 hitting here in the pacific NW. and at least a few f1s If it occurs again.. I will leave and never return to the blog.

  15. Jason Hougak says:

    I’ve met Mark a few times since he bought his place. Replaced his well pump last time. He knows how much I love snow and we’ve had great discussions on how winter is gonna play out. Thanks Mark for all you post and weather knowledge.
    When I got home from work I could just sense it was gonna snow last night.

  16. jimbo says:

    I remember Capell would get reports in the winter from ships off the coast as to the weather conditions and the excitement when snow was reported at sea level. Priceless

    • Boydo3 N. Albany elev. just under 500' says:

      Yeah, he and others had to rely on the lightship off the coast and reports from the Yukon!

  17. High Desert Mat says:

    The boz, Little, and Capell were my childhood faves. The memories some of those names bring up.

    Here’s a question for Mark now, who on this weather blog that posts regularly have you met in person? And would you recognize any of us in real life?

    • MountainMan says:

      I remember David Apple did some weather specials about 30 year PDO/cool/warm cycles when we had wetter years in the early-mid 90’s and all I remember about the boz was a cat, yes a cat! lol does anyone remember a weather cat too?

    • W7ENK says:

      Was it this cat?

  18. WEATHERDAN says:

    Over the last 60 years only a handful of tv mets actually knew what the heck they were talking about. This is my list of who they were. Mark Nelsen, Bob Lynott, Jack Capell, Jim Little, John Walls, Rod Hill, Matt Zaffino, Pete Parsons,Fred Jenkins, Mike Fairbourne, Feris Top. and Rob Marciano. Some of the quacks were Jim Bosley, Miles Muzio, Joe Sotillie, and Don Noe. The rest are somewhere in between. Mark I hope you stick around Portland for a long time. You not only inform us but you also make weather fun. Peace.

    • W7ENK says:

      Jim Bosley a quack? Really??

      What’chya got against “The Boz”???

    • WEATHERDAN says:

      He was a tv personality not a meteorologist. He seemed to be a nice guy just a so so forecaster. I watch the weather to be informed not entertained, Peace.

  19. W7ENK says:

    I do believe this morning we saw our lowest snow level of the entire winter season… now that it’s springtime.

  20. MountainMan says:

    Normally not worth reporting, but a dusting here at 1200 ft in the gorge twice today. One at 6:15 and one at 8:15. A slushy 1/4” each time more on the cars, bark dust and deck then the dirt/gravel. Temp bouncing between 36 and down to 33 during the showers. Considering that is the only snow to stick here in 3- ½ months, it was exciting.
    Great post Mark! Jim and Jack were my childhood favorites. Peat was enthusiastic too. You and Rod later on. A big difference between someone who just reports the weather and someone who has enthusiasm for the weather… I’m sure we all agree.

  21. Garron near Washington square says:

    Thanks Mark for your enduring passion for NW weather lore! Sorry, but you can’t retire for at least another 20 years. I 1st met Jim Little back on my 13th Birthday on May 8th 1984. I got to watch the live telecast, and tour the studio. I met him again at a weather conference in 2013, and he remembered our meeting, 30 years earlier. You can’t say a bad thing about people like him and you! You’re both in a league of your own, and I’m proud to have met both you and him. I so wish I’d had that chance with Dr. John and Jack Capell. Still on my bucket list of Weather personalities are Stephanie Abrams, and Cliff Mass, and our old state climatologist George Taylor.

  22. Hal in Aims says:

    heavy shower with big, wet, sloppy flakes mixing in……..37 degrees…….

  23. There was a forecaster in Bend in the early 80’s who left for Portland I think. We called him Smiley. He had a Magnum PI vibe so Mom liked him. I think he may have coined the term snizzle for the Mill snow we used to get in Bend.

  24. Jason Hougak says:

    It’s winter in the mtns

  25. B1900 Pilot says:

    Does Julia Radlick at KATU count? Or is she one of the freelancers?

  26. moosieman says:

    I forgot about David Apple! lol.

  27. schmit44 says:

    4/13/2015 Oregon (All) Temperature Summary

    Warmest:
    High:76 at USCRN SITE AT JO(2212 ft) & LAKE OWHEE AND O(2400 ft) & GRANDE RONDE RIV(1594 ft) & Rome(4049 ft)
    Low: 46 at LINCON Lincoln C(187 ft)

    Coldest:
    High:36 at Timberline Lodge(7001 ft)
    Low: 12 at CROW FLAT (5172 ft )

    Largest Diurnal Change: 49 degrees
    RED BUTTE (69/20 ) (4460 ft )
    Lakeview, Lake C (68/19) (4734 ft)
    Lorella (67/18) (4160 ft)
    CROW FLAT (61/12) (5172 ft)

    Heaviest Rainfall:
    0.97″ at RED MOUND(1753ft)
    0.97″ at YACHTS Yachats(82ft)
    0.95″ at WALDPT Waldport(43ft)
    0.94″ at EW4856 Brookings(1365ft)
    0.93″ at EW6204 Scotts Mi(518ft)
    0.83″ at EW6494 Florence(64ft)
    0.83″ at DW9126 Brightwoo(1336ft)
    0.82″ at BANDON(79ft)
    0.81″ at Newport Municipa(161ft)
    0.81″ at FLYNN PRAIRIE(1543ft)

  28. Longview 400 ft says:

    Thanks Mark,

    My favorites start with Jim Little and followed him wherever he went which led me to Rod Hill then To Mark of course. Randy Q. was also one I followed, he is still I think, up here working at St. Johns Hospital. PR guy.
    Jack Capell let me come down and watch him do a live broadcast in the spring of 2000 at KGW. I also asked him about landing on Omaha Beach on D-Day. What a story he had.
    Mark, again thanks.
    Jason, enjoy the snow for all of us who didn’t even get an 1/4 of an inch this year.

    • Jake-(Gresham) says:

      Oh wow I just read up a bit on him here:

      http://blog.oregonlive.com/weather/2009/06/jack_capell_the_forecaster_who.html

      Interesting gent for sure.

    • runrain says:

      I wish someone could post Jack Capell’s on-air account of his witness to stumbling on the German concentration camps of WWII. Very touching and emotional to see Jack relive the experience of what he saw. Mark, if there is something in the KGW archives you could find and post, that would be something to see.

      Still remember Jack’s reference to the Columbia River Lightship and his reports on temps in The Yukon

    • oldwxwatcher says:

      Jack Capell was also a big hockey fan and used to come to the meetings of the Portland Buckaroos hockey team in the early-mid 1960s.

  29. Fred Flinstone says:

    You forgot the infamous Steve “I wear my KOIN-TV jacket everywhere” Pierce!

  30. Gene says:

    Long-time follower, first-time commenter. Great post, Mark — it brought back a lot of good memories from my days following the weather on television.

    My dad worked at KGW back in the 1950s through the ’70s and was friends with Jack Capell. He once told me that Capell was the nicest, most genuine on-air personality he had ever worked with — a great guy, without ego. I met him a few times and found that to be true. And he came across that way to those who watched him on TV. In addition to all this, he was the best meteorologist in the business. It was sad to see his health decline starting in the early ’70s, and it happened right in front of our eyes — he just kept working, eventually without being unable to walk, or later, stand. Toward the end, he did his weekend weather forecasts despite being in a wheelchair, without having even the use of his arms — and he was still a great forecaster, right up until he finally retired.

    I consider Mark to be the Jack Capell of today’s Portland-area weather scene.

  31. Jason Hougak says:

    32F with back end of steady precip coming through. Not too surprising to see April snow here. I’ve had 4″ of snow in April 2007.

  32. Jason Hougak says:

    33F and 1/4″ of snowfall

  33. Jason Hougak says:

    Everyone forgets about winter then it finally shows up

  34. Jason Hougak says:

    Ya… 34F and snowing steady at 1300′ east of Sandy/ Estacada!!!

  35. Joe says:

    Grew up watching Jim little, we always followed him to his new station as he moved around

  36. Tyler Mode in Battle Ground says:

    I miss Joe Sotile and Randy Querin…memorable personalities!

  37. janice says:

    Very interesting can’t really help out but! You are the best weather man by far been watching you since you started! Always the one I can count on for the closest weather report! Thank you!

  38. I remember Jack Capell’s retirement from KGW back in the mid-1990s.

    And I think Drew Jackson is the oldest of the KPTV crew that I remember seeing on TV, other than Mark.

  39. Sapo says:

    Really cool chart, thx for taking the time to get it done. I’m not old enough to remember most of these but its a really cool chart nonetheless.

  40. Linda says:

    Thank you Mark………this is so much fun! I have always been somewhat of a weather geek, lived in Oregon since 1983, and your list sure brings back alot of memories. Totally agree that you are at the top. Linda

  41. JohnD says:

    P..S. Bob Lynott has to be the a Godfather. I remember him–and his grease pencil–well as a little boy. Jack Capell a true saint. Pete Parson and Phil Volker great forecasters with huge integrity–and still in the biz. So many others–many media clowns but still enjoyable even amid their lack of true meteorological acumen. We have come to know those with true skill and savvy.

    Mark you are front running. And I m pretty certain always will be. A true virtuoso!

  42. Jason Hougak says:

    36F
    Come on some wet snow… please!

  43. Jason Hougak says:

    More mtn snow!!!

  44. JohnD says:

    FUN STUFF Mark!
    You think of everything!
    This blog is do much fun to follow for we weather faithful!
    THANKS and keep up the great work!

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