National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

History of the NWS in Grand Island and Hastings

January 1, 1929 - U.S. Weather Bureau office initially established in Grand Island, at the airport.

January 1, 1929 to March 1, 1938 - Bureau of Air Commerce at the Central Airport.

March 1, 1938 to July 1, 1940 - Municipal Airport, in the Administration Building.

May 6, 1953 - Weather stations at Grand Island, Nebraska and at the Lincoln airport were ordered closed by July 1st, to conform to budget cuts by the new administration.

June 11, 1953 - A telegram was received stating the weather station would remain open, just 30 minutes before shipment of records would have been picked up.

March 1, 1938 to March 15, 1971 - The National Weather Service Office was located at the Grand Island Administration Building at the Municipal Airport.

December 1, 1970 - Move to Grand Island/Hall Country Airport.

March 1, 1971 - Office moved to the Grand Island Airpark. March 1, 1971 to October 1, 1992 - The National Weather Service office was located at the Weather Service Building, at the Hall County Regional Airport (also known as the Grand Island Airpark)

March 1, 1972 - In response to budgetary authorization and legislative funding, a new National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Weather Service Office has been constructed at Grand Island, to provide weather radar surveillance, and better weather and warning services. Mr. Stephen Fleharty was the Meteorologist-in-Charge.

June 1, 1980 - Grand Island Weather Service Office established at the Grand Island Airport.

1991 - Modernized National Weather Service office construction was begun in Hastings, next to the KHAS TV station.

October 1, 1992 - Hall Country Regional Airport - ASOS Commissioned on 10/01/92.

1993 - New National Weather Office at Hastings 4N opened. Dual operations between Grand Island and Hastings commenced from November 1992 through January 2, 1995, when the old Weather Service Office in Grand Island was closed.

April 22, 1994 - National Weather Service Dedication and Open House was held in Hastings. Steven Schurr was the Meteorologist-in-Charge.

December 4, 1998 - Meteorologist Cynthia Fay and Science and Operations Officer Rick Ewald accepted the Hammer Award from NOAA Administrator James D. Baker and NWS Director General Jack Kelly. The Hammer Award recognized federal agencies that provided community outreach. Weatherwise 101, a public education course, was recognized by Vice President Al Gore and the Reinventing Government Committee, in Silver Spring, Maryland.

March 25-April 5, 2013 - the WSR-88D radar near Blue Hill was upgraded to dual polarization. So, instead of just transmitting and receiving energy in the horizontal plane, energy is transmitted and received in the vertical plane as well. This enables forecasters to better determine the size, shape, consistency, and type of targets (whether they are meteorological or not).