MORAINE, Ohio (WDTN) – Tracking storms nowadays is very different from when WDTN first started –even since Storm Team 2 Chief Meteorologist Brian Davis started. As we continue to celebrate our 70th anniversary this week, here’s a look at the evolution of Storm Team 2.
WDTN’s Weather Center has certainly gone through changes since the old days of turning a dial to show temperatures and drawing and placing cutouts on maps.
Live Radar was a feature seen First on 2 in the Miami Valley, and has become much more advanced over time.
Longtime Channel 2 weather legend Carl Nichols sat down with Chief Meteorologist Brian Davis to talk about how things have changed.
Carl started in 1977 and was quickly greeted by a blizzard in January of ’78.
“We had no satellite, well, the satellite we had was a static picture. So, you had nothing,” Nichols said. “You didn’t have much, but by golly, we hit it pretty darn good. It’s tough to forecast a blizzard. I learned after that blizzard that I didn’t want to use the term ‘blizzard.’”
Brian added, “I remember the blizzard of ’78 was a one-of-a-kind thing. It was just incredible. I still remember waking up in the morning, we lived on East Main Street in Troy. I looked out the window and it was like, ‘Wow, it’s foggy.’ I couldn’t even see the front of the roof out there.”
The Miami Valley has also seen its share of tornadoes.
The 1974 super outbreak of tornadoes generated the biggest tornado on record in Ohio.
Xenia was hit with an F5 tornado with winds in excess of 200 miles per hour. After that weather event, Channel 2 decided it was time to bring in a professional meteorologist, Bob Breck, and make weather a priority.
As technology advanced, an improved radar meant improved warning times.
A significant fall tornado occurred in November of 1992, striking Arcanum. Rated an F3, it damaged 100 buildings and destroyed 40 homes, but only one injury was reported.
Xenia was hit in 2000 with another tornado, striking the fairgrounds with a single loss of life.
We also tracked the remnants of Hurricane Ike. It blew through the Miami Valley in 2008. Winds gusting in excess of 80 miles per hour caused significant, widespread damage and power outages that lasted for days.
Of course, technology continues to change. We now how computer graphics that give us a multitude of conditions to plot in the past, present, and future.
And over the next 70 years, we’ll continue to see more weather forecast and severe weather improvements.