The Story of the Weatherball
13 Weatherball red, warmer ahead.
13 Weatherball blue, cooler in view.
13 Weatherball green, no change foreseen.
Colors blinking bright, rain or snow in sight.
Between 1967 and 1987, the Weatherball was perched on top of the Michigan National Bank building in downtown Grand Rapids. The bank's large sign, the letters MN, were positioned under the Weatherball, and over time, acted like a large sail which created torque on the tower and damaged the structure of the building. The historic Weatherball came down in 1987, but it didn't stop generating talk around West Michigan. The 288 neon tubes that made the colors of the Weatherball were preserved and sold to West Michigan residents. Many of those original tubes can be seen in area restaurants, stores, and homes.
WZZM 13 purchased the original Weatherball in June of 1999. "In strategic planning meetings, several employees suggested that we bring back the Weatherball," said Janet Mason, WZZM 13 President & General Manager. "We started searching for the Weatherball and found it in a scrap yard in Kalamazoo and renamed it the 13 Weatherball."
The station broke ground on the project on November 13, 2002 as WZZM 13 celebrated its 40th anniversary. "The 13 Weatherball is our gift to the people of West Michigan for all of their support of the station for the past four decades," said Mason. The station unveiled the 13 Weatherball to the community at a public lighting ceremony on May 7, 2003.
WZZM 13 Chief Meteorologist and Lowell native, George Lessens, didn't forget the Weatherball. "When I was a kid, I remember making trips into Grand Rapids and how excited I'd be to see the Weatherball", said Lessens. "We'd all take guesses as to what color it would be."
The station renamed the Grand Rapids icon the "13 Weatherball". The 16-foot in diameter stainless steel ball was refit with 288 neon lights. The 13 Weatherball is perched on top of a 100-foot pole on the northeast corner of the station's property at the intersection of Interstate 96 and U.S-131. From this vantage point, the 13 Weatherball is visible from miles away, including from downtown Grand Rapids.
The changing colors of the 13 Weatherball is determined by the WZZM 13 Meteorologists based on their forecast for the day.
You can now see the 13 Weatherball in 3D on your computer through augmented reality and also check out the complete 13 Weatherball color key.
During the unveiling of the 13 Weatherball, dozens of West Michigan residents shared their memories of the Weatherball when it was downtown. You can read them below:
- I grew up in the Detroit Area. I was a member of the International Order of Job's Daughters as a youth. (This is a Masonic Girls Organization based upon the teachings of the Book of Job in the Bible.) Each June we would venture to the Grand Rapids Area to join our Sisters from around the state at Grand Session. We would stay at the Old Pantlin Hotel and hold our meetings and ceremonies in the Civic Center. It was something that we looked forward to each year...imagine heading to the city of Grand Rapids and staying up in the hotel...in ROOMS WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION! What a time we would have.
I remember newscasters on the corner at the time but did not realize that they were affiliated with channel 13. I also remember seeing if we could stay up all night to witness the long lines of buses come into town to begin the daily activity. Of course blinking there over our heads was the weather ball! We would watch Channel 13 go off the air each evening with the Star Spangeled Banner and since this was before the times of Cable television we knew that it was time to play cards until dawn to try to stay awake to watch for those buses. The weather ball never shut off so it was something to look out the windows to see at any hour of the night...that is when we were in our rooms and not playing cards in the elevator going up and down to whereever a person hit a button at or doing cartwheels in the mezanine sometime in the middle of the night. Hooligans I guess we were!
I moved to West Michigan in 1986. My ex husband was transfered to Grand Rapids from the Detroit Area due to massive layoffs in the automobile industry. We ended up in Newaygo County.
I remember he lived on this side of the state for a couple of years before myself and my daughter made it over here. I told him I remember that ball on top of the tall building from when I was a girl. He told me that was the weather ball and added his own verse to your poem about it. I do not know where he came up with this from...perhaps from someone he worked with.
Weatherball red, warmer weather ahead.
Weatherball blue, changes ahead.
Weatherball green, no changes to be seen.
Weatherball blinking bright, take cover and get out the shovels for the white stuff is coming. (I guess he did not know it blinked for rain as well as snow!)
Weatherball black, nuclear attack.
My daughter was about 9 when we moved here. From that point on whenever we came down to Grand Rapids on our monthly family trip to the city, she would always comment coming over that hill on Alpine where you could see downtown that there was not a nuclear attack while we were headed down to the city.
The trips to Grand Rapids were never the same after they removed the weatherball. It was always such a conversation piece.
Life has changed since then. A divorce. A Grown Daughter who will receive her Masters Degree in Biology/Physical Science/Education on May 4 from Central Michigan University. A new marriage and new memories to create as I begin a different level of my life. It is good to have the weather ball returning to guide me thru middle age and keep me on the right track.
I promise as I begin this stage of my life I will not do cartwheels in the old part of the Amway Grand Hotel Mezenine!
Sue - Grant, MI
- I am so glad that WZZM is bringing back the weatherball! I was born and raised in Grand Rapids, and I remember taking trips to my Grandma's house and looking for the weatherball as we drove down 131. My husband and I talk about it every time we visit GR. We can't wait to bring our new daughter to visit and tell her all about the weatherball. Thanks TV13!!
Sarah - Lexington, KY (formerly from GR)
- I am glad you are bringing the weather ball back because I have realy missed it I can't wait to see were it gets put I wasn't very old when it got taken down but I was sad When it was My mom saw it getting put up the first time and can't wait to see it get put up agin she likes telling me stories about when it first got put up
Johannah - Caledonia
- When we we children - we always watched the Weather Ball We loved it. Thanks for bringing it back !
Betty - Grand Rapids
- When we were kids, we all knew the weather ball rhyme by heart. Our dad had an office in McKay Tower, and if we had to pick him up after dark, we competed to see who would spot the color of the ball first. I'd love to see the weather ball again on a trip home.
Kathy Krenz Ahrens - Crystal Lake, IL - (formerly from Grand Rapids)
- When I was a little girl, you could see the weather ball from my parents bedroom window, when is was dark. After we would listen to the evening forcast on WZZM, I would run upstairs and look and see if you had it correct.
Michele - Grand Rapids
- I was a teenager in the '60s. I'd have to say, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times..." My girlfriends and I would go out to my Uncle's place on Clyde Park Avenue, south of 60th Street, and ride his horses. I think his generosity to allow us to use his horses as our own was one of the biggest things that kept us all out of trouble during those times. As we cooled the horses down we could look to the north and see the Weatherball. We were always amazed that we could see all the way to downtown Grand Rapids from Cuttlerville. And I never remember the Weatherball being wrong in it's prediction of the weather for the next day.
Gail - Rockford
- Where I grew up in Grand Rapids I could see the weather ball in the winter from the family room window. I would watch the weatherman on tv and run to the window to see if it matched! Both my sister and I were sad to see it go and are estatic to see it's return.
Cindy - Grand Rapids
- Did you ever wonder who flipped the weatherball switch when the weather changed? Well, for a few years in the late 60's it was me. I joined WLAV radio station after college and wondered what the big switch on the wall of the newroom storage area was for. They quickly informed me that was part of my new job - to check the weather and flip the switch to the correct color and blinking mode (or not). At that time, WLAV was located in the Water Building across the street from the McKay tower. Those were great times!
Cathy - Middleville
- I moved to Grand Rapids in October of 1980. My first job was on the top floor of the Peoples Building, where I had a great view of the Weather Ball on the top of the Michigan National Bank Building. I now work on Three Mile Road, just down from your station - what a sight it will be to see the 13 Weather Ball from work again.
Susan - Greenville
- I'm glad to see the Weatherball back in Grand Rapids. I grew up just north of Grand Rapids in the Alpine Township area, and the weatherball in downtown Grand Rapids was visible from my backyard as I grew up---we just had to go outdoors and could see it from a small hill in our back yard. As I told my kids, while driving through Grand Rapids yesterday, the Weatherball was my childhood equivalent to The Weather Channel. Anytime we needed to know the upcoming weather, I simply went outdoors, got some fresh air, and checked the Weather Ball----actually, a much healthier habit than sitting on the couch clicking the remote over to the Weather Channel. ;-)
Rob - Watervliet, Michigan
- I GREW UP IN THE COUNTRY AND GRAND RAPIDS SEEMED LIKE SUCH A BIG CITY TO US. I REMEMBER WHENEVER WE WOULD GO TO GRAND RAPIDS DURING THE HOLIDAYS AND GO FOR A WALK DOWNTOWN TO SEE THE DISPLAYS IN THE WINDOWS AT XMAS TIME, WE WOULD SEE THE WEATHER BALL. YES AT THAT TIME IT WAS A TRADITION FOR THE STORES TO PUT OUT ANIMATED WINDOW DISPLAYS. THAT IS ANOTHER THING I WOULD LIKE TO SEE COME BACK AGAIN! WE USE TO WATCH THE WEATHERBALL AS FAR AS WE COULD ON THE WAY HOME UNTIL IT WAS OUT OF SIGHT. WE TOO REMEMBER TRYING TO GUESS WHAT COLOR IT WOULD BE ON THAT PARTICULAR DAY. THANKS WZZM14 FOR BRINGING IT BACK! WHAT A NICE MEMORY!!!!!!!!
firstname.lastname@example.org - Hopkins
- My thanks to you and WZZM-13 for resurrecting the old Weather Ball. When I first moved down here from the Upper Peninsula in the late 60's, the Weather Ball was one of the first curiosities I can recall seeing. I would look for it every time I went into Grand Rapids. I was bummed when it was taken out of service. It certainly was/is an icon around here. In addition to wanting to convey my appreciation, I want to let you know that I also have a Weather Ball - of sorts. I call it the "Weather Ball-of-Fur"...my dog, Belle. She's a curly, white, 16 lb. mutt who thinks she's a wolf hybrid. She's also a great weather observer! Here's how my simple dog-activated weather observation system works.
* When Belle stays outdoors a while and comes in warm and dry, the weather is nice, warm and dry.
* When Belle comes in warm and completely wet, it's warm and raining (If she's dripping, it's raining hard).
* When Belle comes in cold and wet, it's cold with rain / sleet / freezing rain (this is a tough call).
* When Belle doesn't stay out long and comes in cold and dry, it's very cold with no precipitation.
* When Belle doesn't stay out long and comes in cold and snow-covered, it's cold and snowing (The snowfall rate is determined by how much snow has accumulated on her back in the few minutes she was outdoors.).
* When Belle goes out and disappears, it's foggy (This observation does not work at night or if I forget to shovel heavy snow off the walk.).
* When Belle stays out for a while and comes in panting, making a beeline for her water dish, it's hot with no precipitation (If she comes in more curly than when she went out, the humidity is up).
* When Belle refuses to go out, there is, or shortly will be, a thunderstorm occurring.
* When Belle comes in slightly ruffled, a breeze is blowing.
* When Belle comes in with her hair all off to one side, the wind is blowing hard.
* If I have to go out and fetch her because she can't make it back to the house, the wind is blowing very hard.
* When Belle comes in with just wet feet, the precipitation (be it solid or liquid) has ceased. This observation can be inaccurate in the case of a heavy dew or frost.
So, you see, I have a very reliable, simple weather observation system. I will continue to make improvements. You just have to remember to feed it, scratch it and take it to the vet once in a while. I think my "Weather Ball-of-Fur" works much better than the Weather Rock I used to have. I believe you also have a couple of small dogs that look a lot like Belle. Reconfiguring them into Weather Balls-of-Fur may help you improve on your 90% On-Target Weather accuracy. Good luck. :-) A loyal WZZM-13 viewer and amateur weather buff.
Buz - West Olive
- Thank you TV 13 for doing us all a favor by bringing "back" the weatherball. It is such a landmark that wherever it ends up, will become as a constant source of pleasure to all who see it - - especially those of us that remember it fondly. I have many memories of getting a warm friendly feeling whenever I saw it - almost as f it were an old friend that I didn't see every day, but sure appreciated. My mother was in Butterworth Hospital for 28 days straight at one point, over 20 years ago, but my Dad and I still talk about how we used to see the weatherball on our way from Zeeland into Grand Rapids, each day when we went to see my Mom. Thanks for helping a great tradition CONTINUE !!
L. - Jenison
- I was a teller in the drive-in at Michigan National Bank when the weather ball was installed. It was quite something to see the huge machinery needed to install everything. It caused quite a commotion and traffic tie-ups for weeks while everyone watched the progress of the installation. I'm glad it's back!
Sharon - New Era (formerly of Grand Rapids)
- Growing up as a teenager in the 60's (it was the best of times) I have many memories of the weatherball. I also have many fond memories of TV 13 and the studios in the old Pantlind Hotel. I remember they use to broadcast the weather on the sidewalk at the corner of Monroe & Lyon. I seem to recall a weatherman by the name of David Compton. I also remember as a teenager going down to the "Dick McKay Show". It was like a mini American Bandstand. I wish I could get my hands on some old tapes of that show, if there are any, for my next class reunion. Anyways, regarding where to put the original weatherball, I think it should be in the downtown area. How about putting it on a tower somewhere next to the new convention center that is being built. This way it would be visible from 131 &196 expressways. Maybe Bridgewater Place would work also. I think it's great that it is coming back.
Tom Johnson -Grand Rapids
- I want to say THANK YOU!!! This was a fond memory to me as a child. We came from Chicago to visit my Aunt who lived in the Fulton Towers, right out her window was a clear view of the Weather Ball. I was devistated on 1987 when it came down. My aunt had sent me the artical from the paper and I have saved it all these years. I too never really stopped thinking about the ball. I had a ten week hospital stay in Grand Rapids in 2000 and I wished I could see that ball. WOW the wish came true! Now I can share the memories with my children and pass the article when the ball came down, and now up again!
Rosann - Shelby
- I moved up here from detroit when I was 7yrs old and when I first saw the weatherball I would try to guess what the color it would be tomorrow and just knew that it was always going to be a good day because the weatherball was there to tell us the weather. I live way up here in fremont now and have told my children about the weatherball and they think I am silly so it would be a great pleasure to be able to see it once again when in Grand Rapids. Thank you for bring it back.
- I was an electrician working for Delta Electric in Grand Rapids at the time the weatherball was installed atop Michigan National Bank. I was performing some electrical remodeling in the bank building while the sign people were installing the weatherball. The sign company electricians wired the sign down to a point at the base of the sign. Guess what! There was not enough power at the top story level to wire to the sign. That's where I came in. I had to run a conduit all the way from the basement to the roof to install wiring to activate the sign. The building being constructed to cast in place concrete and plaster covered tile required that I drill holes through every floor to get to the roof. It took several days to accomplish the task. Already on windy days when you were near the top of the bank building, you could feel the building sway a little bit. I often wondered what it must have been to work on the top floors of the building every day. I was sorry to see the weatherball removed, but understood the impact it had on the buildings structural integrity. You don't need someone to run the power to the new location do you? I can probably work it into my schedule. Imagine, powering up the weatherball twice!
Walt Weston - Grand Rapids, Michigan
- I was listening to Dave and Geri on the way into work and heard them talking about the weather ball....brought back memories for me!! They said TV 13 was looking for Memories
First let me say - I'm 40 something....I was brought up in a very conservative home in Jenison, Michigan - on Saturday nights - our big night out was to go somewhere for a burger, usually the "Rainbow Grill in Grandville, then we would ride the entire length of 28th street - then head downtown. Because of our conservative household - we didn't get the Sunday paper delivered to our home on Sunday morning - but on Saturday nights, there was a guy that would sit outside the GR Press building by the truck garage and sell the 1st addition of the Sunday press. It because a "ritual" - we would go downtown and my dad would sit on Michigan hill and wait for the guy to come out with his papers.- I would always be excited to see what color the "weather ball" was. My dad had a CB in his car (remember those??) and he would get on there and manage to talk to the guy in the weather ball (or at least that is what he told us). I remember the guy would say "what color am I glowing. This was I'm guessing between 1965 and 1970... Those were the "good ole days" - I just remember that thing shining blue and this guy on the other end of the CB and thinking that was the coolest thing there was. So, the weather ball is not only historical - but for my family it was a family outing!!!
Jan Noorman - Jenison, Michigan
- I remember looking for the Weatherball from my bedroom window from the second floor of my childhood home in Alpine Estates in Walker. I always thought it was cool how I could see downtown and the ball from so far away as well as getting the weather forecast at anytime I wanted.
Bob - Walker
- When we were kids, a trip to Grand Rapids from our small town of Montague was always exciting and seeing the weatherball was a highlight for my brothers and me. I can't wait to see it working again! Please put it close to the highways so we can all enjoy it when we drive through the city.
Margaret - Montague
- Back in 1967 I was a nursing student at Butterworth Hospital doing my 11pm-7am shift and having a very hard time staying awake. I could see the weather ball from one of the lounges and I would stare at for hours.....so now when I think of that famous weather ball I remember with a smile those long nights during nurses training. Thanks for the chance to share that....( In my whole nursing career I have never worked nights! :) Just those nights during my training)
P.Linderer - Newaygo
- I was excited when I heard the weatherball was coming back to the city! As a child, I can remember Mom and Dad taking us downtown to visit Santa at Herpelshimers Dept. store, and as we drove I 196 East bound from Lake Mich. exit around the Zoo and towards downtown the first thing we would look for was the weatherball. Thank you for bringing it back ZZM! We can now "See the Difference".
Rob - Wyoming
- I love the weather ball. I remember looking out my Butterworth Hospital window to see it. Somehow it brought cheer to me. Everytime we would drive into GR. our kids would peer out the window to see who could find it first,to see what color is was. It was great for Grand Rapids, something to be proud of. Everyone knew about it. It was a legend. Thank you so much for bringing it back. It is like finding a long lost frined.
Kathy B. Newaygo (formerly Grand Rapids)
- I remember when the weather ball first came to Grand Rapids. My sister was working at Michigan National Bank at the time so I got to see it up close quite often. As a 10 year old I always wondered how it really worked. It sure was the talk of the town and served a useful purpose for the community. I look forward to seeing it again on the Grand Rapids skyline when I visit Michigan!
Glen Ensing - Honolulu, Hi
- Thanks for bringing the Weatherball back! My father, who is now deceased,was an electrician. He helped wire the Weatherball when it was atop Michigan National Bank.....Seeing it again will bring back fond memories.
Marian - Howard City
- I was raised in Flint MI. who also hd a weatherball atop the MNB building (or maybe Citizens Bank). The jingle that went with that ball was as follows: When the weather ball is red, higher temperatures ahead. When the weather ball is blue, lower temperatures are due. Green light in weather ball means there'll be no change at all. When it blinks with agitation, then there'll be precipitation.
Jillian Gunn - Grand Rapids
- My family never forgot what the blinking weather ball meant because my mother made up a different verse for that one..."Weather ball blinking, weather is stinking!" Obviuosly mom doesn't care for percipitation!
Ellen - Rockford
- I remember us guys back in high school (1969), we would see the weather ball while we cruised the circuit down town.
frank - Grand Rapids
- I am a 31 year old mother of two born and raised in Comstock Park. The wheatherball is a cherished childhood memory I hold close to my heart. You see my father who is now 66 and still lives in Comstock Park erected the wheatherball. When I was a child I loved hearing the story of him standing on top of it and how it was built. I didn't think there was anything bigger anyone could do, I was so proud he was my father and still am to this day. I loved driving downtown especially with my father and friends with me and yelling out the colors an what they stood for. Today I asked my father his fondest story and here it is The day they set the last section of the wheatherball he was standing on top of it they pulled the phones loose and rode the ball of the crane down to the street where spectators stood clapping and cheering. I just want to Thank You WZZM 13 for bringing back the wheatherball what an excellent way to include the community in celebrating your 40th anniversary. Now now all of those wonderful memories can be passed onto my fathers six grandchildren as he drives with them downtown. Thank so much!!
Brandi - Walker, Michigan
- I am a lifelong resident of the City of Grand Rapids, but my wife moved to this area from Western Pennsylvania as a teenager in the late 60's. She was not happy to move to G.R., so her father tried cheering her up by showing her the big sights in town, chief among which was the famous weatherball. Pennsylvania had nothing like this, he told her. He also told her that one day this City would be very important to her and that she would learn to love it. We were married in 1971 and I took my first professional job with the City of Grand Rapids in 1974. Thirteen years later, in 1987, I was appointed City Manager of the City. The day I was appointed, my wife drove downtown and, as she gazed upon the crazy weatherball, whe was reminded of her father's prediction years ago. Grand Rapids had indeed become very important to her! Shortly thereafter, the weatherball came down. It was not until last year (2001) that I located an arc from the original weatherball that I purchased and had mounted in by basement as a surprise for my wife. Needless to say, she was blown away when she discovered it. We have a framed picture of the weatherball atop the Michigan National Bank Building beside the neon. Our memories of the weatherball are very poignant.
- This is so interesting, just this past month I was commenting to my husband how I miss the weatherball when we were going thru town and how I wish we still had it. He felt the same. It was always neat to see what was in store for the weather especially the blinking light! And as winter turned to spring it was encouraging to see the ball show up more and more with red!A sure sign that summer was coming!!Thanks for bringing it back!
Karen - Conklin
- Long time ago, My Dad and I spent a lot of our weekends in South Bend In. We would drive home usually late Sunday night. I always knew we were getting close when I could see the weather ball. We could see it from a VERY LONG away from GR.
Jim McFadden - Ada
- I live in warm, sunny California now but grew up in Grand Rapids. Walking to school each day I looked forward to seeing what color the Weatherball was and repeating the poem...seems like it was blue a lot of the time...maybe that's why I moved to California! It's 64 degrees out here today!
Beth Medley - Long Beach California!
- When they took down the weatherball, it was like the last childhood rememberance of Downtown was gone. Now if you could only reserect the dimestores, Wurzburgs, Herps & Steks. Glad it's coming back. THANKS
Linda Hovey - SAND LAKE MI
- I am so glad to see that a part of my childhood will soon be back in G.R. Barely being big enough to see out the window of my parents car it was a terrific site as a young child! Thanks to all who made this great memory come alive again!
Joe Kleinert - Kalamazoo
- I lived in Cedar Spring while growing up and very seldom visited Grand Rapids. When I did, I thought the Weatherball neat. I ask my 11 & 13 year old boys if they have ever heard of the MN Weatherball. They say "What's MN?" If I ask them if they know what the WZZM Weatherball is, they say "Yes". I think it's great that it's coming back!
Terry - Sparta
- It's great news to know WZZM will soon revive one of the most famous land marks this city has ever known. It means a lot to me. I've always associated the Weather Ball with my beloved grand parents. Every chance I could got was spent at their home, either visiting or spending an entire weekend. They lived on Ottawa Avenue just a mile North of downtown. I was 12 years old in 1967 when the WB was introduced to us atop the Michigan National Building. When visiting grandma & grandpa I would always make it a point to run out in front of their home and look South towards downtown to view the WB in all her bright neon glory. I was fascinated by this colorful sphere. She seemed like something from another World. Maybe it was because she was so high up and away from everything. Or maybe my fascination with her was because she resembled some form of alien space craft from a 1950's science fiction movie. My fascination even drove a friend and I to climb to the top floor of the MN building in an attempt to view the WB point blank. We were abruptly halted and were given a stern lecture. It was just as well, I don't particularly care for heights. Sadly, grandma passed away in 1968 and grandpa followed her in 1971. Then the entire neighborhood where my grandparents lived, and where I spent my childhood...was torn down. A total of three blocks of homes along Ottawa Avenue...all gone. A large factory would soon occupy most of this land. I regret my old stomping grounds having been taken from me. Sure, the pictures and memories of my old neighborhood and grandparents are very precious, but it would have been nice if "PROGRESS" could have given me a little more time. Enough time to have been allowed the chance to show my children where their great grandparents used to live and where I enjoyed so many great times. But what was dear to mt heart was in the path of PROGRESS. I was extremely saddened when the WB was dismantled from the city's skyline. It was like the last remnent of those great times as a child on Ottawa Avenue. Removing the WB was in fact closing the last chapter on my grandparents lives. I figured never to see the WB again. Now you can imagine how elated I am. My old friend is coming back. Obviously the Weather Ball can't replace my grandparents, but it's going to be like a small part of them will be coming back again. I no longer have the old neighborhood to revisit but NOW, thanks to WZZM, I'll be able to gaze upon the WB and relive all those wonderful childhood memories. Thank You WZZM! Dale G.R.
Dale Atkinson - Grand Rapids
- My daughter was thrilled to hear the weatherball was coming back to Grand Rapids. When she was young we lived by Richmond Park. You could see all over the city from her bedroom window. Every morning when she got up the first thing she did was look out her window at the weatherball to see how she should dress for the day. When they took the weatherball down she was so upset because she said "Now I don't know how to dress!!!!" Her comment now is that you have to put it where she can still see it every morning!!
Janette - Grand Rapids
- I always remember, growing up that if we were going through downtown, on the way back from Studio 28, I would always look for that weatherball. To me, it was a great thing about Grand Rapids that only we had. When it came down in 87, I remember we were all saddened by it's loss. I cannot wait to see it rise on the skyline again!
Kendall - Kentwood
- I always thought it was cool to see the weatherball as a kid. My father would ask us if we could recite the weatherball poem. It was a nice little jingle and was easy for kids to learn. I'll be glad to see it once again.
Beth - Sparta
- I always looked for the Weatherball when I was around downtown. I also remember back in the late 1970's when we added a new color to the weatherball. It was "WeatherBall Black - Nuclear Attack." Most of the kids around here knew of that line to end the "Weatherball Saying." It'll be great to have it back.
Kevin - Grand Rapids
- Yes, My family remember the weatherball. Like lots of people in the area,my children would look for it when we came back from a trip up north. We lived in Burton Heights and we could go out on the sidewalk and check the weather from there. So I hope you find a place in downtown GR to place it,so all can see it.
Marcia - Wyoming
- I remember back in the days when my three kids were quite young, they are now 20 through 24, and my dad was not so old, he's now 82. My little ones recited the weather ball poem in unision to grandpa while riding home from dinner. When they were finished, Grandpa said "Weather ball pink, you sure do stink". This sent the kids into fits of laughter. Funny thing about it is, to this day, all three still remember the day Grandpa made up a silly poem and made them laugh. I bet that line was repeated in our household up until the time the weather ball was taken down from it's perch above Grand Rapids. Glad to hear it's coming back.
Beth - Grand Rapids
- I grew up from birth in Grand Rapids, but am living in Phoenix, Arizona now. I will never forget the Weatherball, and am glad you're bringing it back. A friend of the family's was involved in its construction, and I remember thinking he must have been a real important guy to have anything at all to do with the Weatherball. Going to school with Peter Chan, we used to joke that his job as a meteorologist would be to sit in a little room underneath the Weatherball and push the buttons that turned it red, blue, or green; and then a special extra switch would make it blink. He surprised all of us.
- I lived on Hamilton street on the west side. You could see the Weatherball from our back yard. I'm glad it's going to be back. How about putting it on top of the TV 13 Tower next to the highway.
Steve - Comstock Park
- I'm glad to see the weatherball is coming back. I always enjoyed seeing it in downtown Grand Rapids.I hope you can find a spot so people on the Ford and 131 xpressways can see it. Thanks TV13
Jason - Zeeland
- I am 23 years old and I remember, shortly before the Weatherball came down, a contest I had won. Back then there was a radio station just for kids, they were having a contest to see who knew the whole Weatherball poem. I dialed as fast as I could, recited the poem and won posters and stickers from Radio Oz. I am glad it is coming back, Thank you WZZM.
Liz - Kentwood
- I grew up on Bridge street. Way above Bridge St. hill, closer to Covell Rd. My sister and I would climb our big, old maple tree in the front yard and look to see what color the weather ball was. You also could see it from Union hill and many nights after playing tennis, I'd sit on the hill and just look at the city, with all the beautiful lights. The weather ball meant home. Thanks for bringing it back!
Shari - Cedar Springs
- As a child growing up in Grand Rapids, the weatherball was always the way we knew we were almost home. My oldest children remember it too. Thanks WZZM13 for bringing it back! -
Lori - Byron Center
- I remember the first night the Weatherball was lit. My Dad took our family to see it. We had the article from the Grand Rapids Press with us so we could figure out what the weather would be. I still remember the poem that goes along with the Weatherball. It will be like seeing an old friend. Thank you TV13 for bringing back the Weatherball!
Anita - Wyoming
- I'm glad you're bringing it back. I remember hearing the news Michigan National was taking it down and even the song "save the weatherball". I was only 12 when it was removed, but I've always hoped it would someday, somehow, return. Thanks for making my wish reality!
david prins - Holland
- When my mother in law was in a hospital in Grand Rapids, we were visiting with our two sons. We saw the weather ball on top of the Michigan National Bank, and only the MN showed. We were talking about it and our young son spoke up and said "It means Monday Noon". And indeed it was Monday Noon.
Marion - Howard City
- I remember the weatherball very well. It was a big deal, especially during the winter months when it was dark out driving home from visiting Grandparents, in Sand Lake, as we anxiously waited to get the first glimpse of what color it was going to be. Thanks WZZM 13 for bringing it back. Wherever it ends up I hope my son will have the same memories of it we did as kids growing up.
Marie - Wyoming