Timeline and History of the Weather Organization in El Paso

November 6, 1877
First recorded weather observations in El Paso, taken by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The office is located on San Francisco Street, between Santa Fe and El Paso Streets. Observations will be taken in this general area for the next 65 years.
 

 1890
The U.S. Weather Bureau, placed in the Department of Agriculture, assumes weather observation duties from the U.S. Army Signal Corps.
 

1891
The U.S. Weather Bureau opens an office in El Paso.  Nathan D. Lane becomes the first observer in El Paso with the Weather Bureau.  Lane had considerable experience with weather observing, having spent nearly 20 years with the Bureau and the Signal Corps.  He took a leave of absence in early 1906, but then returned to observing duties in September 1907 until he retired in June 1916. The Sheldon Hotel, at the southwest corner of St. Louis and Oregon Streets, was the location of the observation office when Lane became observer.

Sheldon Hotel, the location of the observation office when Col. Lane became observer.

Col. Lane and Shaver at the office in the Sheldon Hotel.

 

 August 8, 1894
Observing site moves to the southeast corner of St. Louis and Oregon Streets, in the Government Building.


December 29, 1907
Observing site moved to El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Building at the southeast corner of Stanton and Franklin Streets.


July 1, 1925
Observing site moved to the Mills Building where it would remain for over 10 years. 

 

Mills Building 1920s.

Nov 20, 1931
Weather office is established at the El Paso Municipal Airport (now El Paso International Airport).  Office located in the American  Airlines Administration building.  Radiosonde observations (RAOB) were first taken in July of 1939.
 

                           62.2 Magnitude Radisonde Antenna     Wesley Quinn with Weather Balloon in 1955

April 28, 1936
Downtown observing site moves for its final time to the U.S. Court House Building, on the northeast corner of San Antonio and Kansas Streets. This site was closed in late 1942, and its duties consolidated at the airport office.


Dec 14, 1942
City and airport duties are consolidated into one office and located at El Paso International Airport in the new airport Administrative Building.

 

  

     Wind Instruments on the El Paso Airport Tower in 1943.

Weather Office May 1943 

Apr 1, 1964
Weather office moved to the FAA building at the El Paso International Airport.

1970
Under government reorganization, The U.S. Weather Bureau becomes the National Weather Service and placed in the new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  The local office is now renamed the Weather Service Office (WSO).

1995
National Weather Service moves from El Paso International Airport to their new office located in Santa Teresa, New Mexico at the Dona Ana County Airport,  under a modernization plan.  Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) is commissioned at El Paso International Airport as the official observational site.
 

                              Weather Forcasting Office El Paso located in Santa Teresa, New Mexico.


1996
WSR-NEXRAD 88D weather radar is commissioned at the Santa Teresa, NM office. Note:  in 2012 the WSR-NEXRAD 88D was upgraded to Dual Pol.  First surface observations (unofficial) and climate data begun.


Oct 1998
National Weather Service office in Santa Teresa officially becomes a Weather Forecast Office (WFO), and assumes forecasting and warning responsibilities for southern New Mexico and West Texas.

                                              El Paso National Weather Service Office in 2003.  

                                              El Paso National Weather Service Office in 2013. 

 
2000
AWIPS –Advanced Weather Interactive Processing System is commissioned  at WFO El Paso and becomes the mainstay of the weather service for data assimilation and transmission. 



FUN FACTS - Since the WFO El Paso/Santa Teresa office opened through the end of 2012, there have been:

Number of regular scheduled RAOBs taken: 12,410
Number of hourly surface observations taken: 148,920
Number of regular scheduled zone forecasts issued: 12,410
Number of regular terminal aviation forecasts issued: 99,280
Number of tornado warnings issued:  41
Number of severe thunderstorm warnings: 908


For a detailed timeline of  National Weather Service history go to
http://www.nws.noaa.gov/pa/history/timeline.php

 


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