My fondest memories of watching local meteorologist Jerry Taft in Chicago.

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Here is an ad for WMAQ-TV NewCenter5 Channel 5 in Chicago. From The Chicago Tribune January 31, 1980.

Hello everyone. Today’s story will be about Jerry Taft, the retired meteorologist who entertained us on our television screens for over forty years in Chicago. I was completely shocked by the news of his death this morning. He seemed so cheerful all the time and retained a remarkable sense of humor. He was one of the most popular weather forecasters in Chicago.

My first memory of watching Jerry Taft was in the year 1977 when he started doing the weather forecasts on WMAQ-TV Channel 5. His hair was very curly. I wasn’t sure if that was a perm or it was natural that way. He didn’t display his mischievous sense of humor at first, but it started to creep up as the years went by. I enjoyed his weather segments on Channel 5 and he stayed there for seven years.

He left Channel 5 and was promptly hired by WLS-TV Channel 7 in 1984. He was a joy to watch on the news. His weather forecasts were entertaining and informative. Sometimes the animated graphics on the weather maps were not working properly. Off and on it displayed the wrong temperatures. The key locations in the city were often misspelled. On the odd occasion, the visible screen would be blank. Jerry would wisely be delivering a few jokes and would giggle uncontrollably. He instantly made me laugh all the time. He was merely being himself.

When I heard this morning that he passed away, I was very saddened by the news. It came out of the blue. He retired in January 2018 after 33 years on the air on Channel 7. Longtime colleagues at both local television stations were terribly shocked and devastated. They were many notable meteorologists that were on the air over the years. Each one positively possessed a distinct personality. Not too long ago, I wrote a story about Harry Volkman on my blog. He too was unique. My deepest condolences to the family of Jerry Taft. He will be missed. Thank you. Pete Kastanes, Admin for Vanished Chicagoland Facebook Page.

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