The Half-Astrophysicist Blog

Hurrican Allen: 1980

You might remember the old days of television weather before we had all these fancy computer graphics.  They had weather maps with magnetic numbers and H’s and L’s for the highs and lows they could move around.  When they wanted to show you a satellite photo, they taped it up to the wall and pointed a television camera at it.

When I was growing up, KSFY in Sioux Falls, South Dakota would give away the old satellite photos.  You sent in your name on a postcard and if they drew it, you got that day’s satellite photo.  As a nerdy boy, that was really coo.  Fortunately, Sioux Falls was not a major media market and didn’t have a lot of competition since I got a couple of them.  I still have one of them and just scanned it in to my computer.

I was lucky enough to get the satellite photo for August 7th, 1980 (the date is printed at the top but got cut off in the scan…I thought it was more important not to cut off the bottom of this one!)  Hurricane Allen was the first named storm of the season and it was a doozy.  It reached category 5 status with top winds of 190 mph making it one of the most powerful hurricanes of all time.  Fortunately, it wasn’t quite that strong when it made landfall north of Brownsville, it was down to a category 3 storm.

Okay, now I am totally geekin’ out here.  This hurricane was named Allen.  Look at the satellite photo…they called it Hurricane Alan when they wrote the name on the photo!  Yeah, a 30 year old, um, well not quite a typo but you get the idea!

Anyway, this is one of those old childhood pieces of geekenss which I still have and treasure to this day, yellowed and fading but a little piece of history.


August 26, 2010 - Posted by | Fun Stuff, Science History

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