George Winterling

WJXT chief meteorologist emeritus

Published On: Oct 19 2011 01:07:43 PM EDT
Updated On: Oct 24 2011 08:15:00 PM EDT


After 47 years as WJXT's chief meteorologist, George Winterling steped back from day-to-day coverage to become the station's hurricane expert.

George began his career at Channel 4 in 1962.

Before joining WJXT, George was a meteorologist for the U.S. Weather Bureau for five years. Prior to that, he served four years in the U.S. Air Force, becoming familiar with typhoon-like storms while stationed in Alaska's Aleutian Islands.

Upon leaving the service, he attended Jacksonville Junior College (now FSCJ) and Florida State University, where he received his degree in meteorology.

"I got into television in 1962 when I felt that the media needed knowledgeable persons doing weathercasts in times of emergencies," Winterling said. "In those early days, I painted clouds on maps, since there were no satellite pictures available."

George designed, then copyrighted the space-view weather maps he used to show viewers weather systems across the United States.

He initiated predicting rainfall probability, and even chased storms and weather events, filming them with his 16 mm camera for his weathercasts.

George was granted the American Meteorological Society Seal of Approval in 1963.

H e was appointed to the Board of Radio and Television Weathercasting in 1969 and designed the AMS television Seal of Approval in 1973.

George taught meteorology as an adjunct professor at Jacksonville University from 1975 to 1994.

In 1984, the AMS presented George with an award for outstanding service by a broadcast meteorologist honoring his skills and pioneering use of animation. The award was given to recognize his creative innovations to enable the public to better understand weather.

In 1985, he used Channel 4's new tower camera to introduce musically displayed time-lapse weather to the nation's weathercasters. In 1989, George achieved Certified Consulting Meteorologist status by the AMS.

Since 2002, George has participated in an annual workshop for meteorology students at FSU, being honored by having a plaque placed at their Weathercasting Studio for his contribution to their program.

George's Garden was a weekly feature on Channel 4 News at 6 p.m. for decades, where viewers got gardening tips on what to plant, how to grow it, when to fertilize, when to water and other timely tips.

Originally from New Jersey, George can recall the day in May 1937 when he spotted the ill-fated Hindenburg in the air near his home prior to its fiery destruction.

George's Favorite Web Links:

Interactive Weather Information

Tornado Project Online

Vegetable Information

National Hurricane Center

Earthquake Reports (World-wide)

He came to Jacksonville when he was 10 years old, in time to witness aviation history being made. Living near the Naval Air Station, he saw the PBY seaplanes in the St. Johns River and SNJs, Hellcats, Avengers, and Corsairs in the sky.

George's travels have taken him through the entire area, from Palatka to St. Augustine in Florida; from Brunswick to Fargo in Georgia. He has shared his experiences with young and old, from kindergarteners to seasoned citizens.

George and his wife, Virginia, live in Mandarin, where he enjoys more gardening and photography.

George also is an avid Florida State fan.