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Television Weather

A photo of WCCO television weather man Bud Kraehling in the "Shell Wather Tower."
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, WCCO's weatherman Bud Kraehling delivered his forecasts from the "Shell Weather Tower." On rainy, stormy and snowy nights, special effects created the illusion that he was outside braving the elements. In reality, the camera would pan a three-foot sketch of the tower at the opening of the program. The inside of the tower was a small studio set. Courtesy Bud Kraehling.

P. J. Hoffstrom—known as "Hawf" and by trade a cartoonist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press—became KSTP's first television weatherman in 1948. Among Hawf's qualifications was an uncanny skill for drawing upside-down cartoons while reporting on the latest cold front. WTCN Channel 4 (now WCCO), which went on the air in July 1949, featured Bob Fransen as "The Weatherman." With grease pencil in hand, he drew lines and numbers on a U.S. map during his five-minute broadcasts. On Labor Day 1950, WTCN combined news, weather and sports in a single half-hour program. KSTP began its own nightly 10 p.m. newscast that fall.