|Home | Welcome | What's New | Site Map | Glossary | Weather Doctor Amazon Store | Book Store | Accolades | Email Us|
Women's first opportunities in meteorology
occurred as a result of WWII.
Photo circa 1945, Historic NWS Collection
Unfortunately, most of the contributions of these women have been forgotten. In their paper, Women in the Weather Bureau During World War II, editors Kaye O'Brien and Gary K. Grice found no documentation on the many contributions women made to the Weather Bureau during the war, despite exhaustive literature searches. To correct this omission, O'Brien and Grice interviewed many of the women on their experiences and impressions. (These can be found at http://www.history.noaa.gov/stories_tales/women1.html)
One woman whose fortitude and dedication to her work exemplified the women in the US Weather Bureau during the war years was Miss Dorothy L. Taylor. In April 1945, she was thrust into a situation which tested her mettle.
Most women entered the Weather Bureau service as Junior Observers, and Miss Taylor was no exception. Appointed on April 1, 1944, she was promoted to SP-5 rank on April 1, 1945. Twelve days later, the young woman -- she would not turn 20 until April 23rd -- reported for her evening shift in the Casper, Wyoming Weather Office. But the shift would be anything but routine.
During her shift, a heavy snowstorm raged across the region isolating the Casper weather station. The intense storm prevented Taylor's relief from getting through, and thus for 28 hours, she singlehandedly ran the office operations.
During her extended shift, she continued taking hourly airways observations and 6-hourly synoptic readings. Despite extremely adverse conditions where temperatures ranged from 22o to 29oF and winds howled from 25 to 50 miles per hour during the heaviest snowfall, Taylor managed to launch and observe regular weather balloon soundings. Not only did Taylor keep up with the regular observations and data transmission schedules, she also prepared three consecutive weather maps while contending with unusually heavy telephone traffic generated by the bad storm. All the while, Taylor sustained herself with perseverance and the meager contents of her lunch pail.
For her extraordinary discharge of duties, the Weather Bureau commended Dorothy Taylor for her spirit and dedication. The commendation read in part:
"The Central Office feels that her action deserves mention as an example of the highly commendable spirit for which Weather Bureau employees have always been noted."
To Purchase Notecard,
Now Available! Order Today!
The BC Weather Book: