Charles H. Pierce caster for one of the first telephone answering services for 1909-1994 weather forecasts. Degree in hand, Pierce joined the staff of Trans World Air- Charles H. Pierce, the only Weather Bu- lines as a meteorologist. He left TWA in 1937, joining the Air reau forecaster to accurately predict the Hur- Mass Section of the Weather Bureau in Washington, D.C., and ricane of 1938, died on 23 December 1994 working subsequently in Kansas City, Missouri, and Boston, at his home in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Massachusetts. When he left Kansas City for Boston, Pierce At the time of the Hurricane of 1938, hur- opened the new Weather Bureau office at Logan Airport. ricane forecasting was still in its infancy. At the onset of World War II, Pierce was recalled to the Air Pierce had been working at the Weather Bu- Mass and Frontal Analysis Section in Washington, D.C., where he served as the second in command. In 1955 Pierce was given the choice to relocate to Los An- geles, California, or to return to Boston. He chose Boston "be- cause the weather there is so much more interesting." He served as supervisor of the Guidance Forecasters and Princi- pal Assistant until his retirement in 1974. Pierce became a member of AMS in 1945. He was elected a Councilor in 1942 and was elected a Fellow in 1982. He chaired AMS's Board of Admissions and the District of Colum- bia and Greater Boston chapters. Pierce enjoyed a fruitful career in forecasting. He was in- strumental in establishing the practice of meteorology on a "firm scientific foundation in Boston." He was honored with several awards for his forecasting abilities, including the Department Charles H. Pierce of Commerce's Bronze Medal Award in 1970 "for valuable con- tributions to scientific weather forecasting," and the National reau forecasting office in Washington, D.C., Weather Service Eastern Region's Professionalism Award in since 1937. He predicted that the fury of the 1972 "for an outstanding contribution to the advancement of hurricane would unleash itself on New En- applied meteorology." Pierce is also credited with writing and gland. The hurricane tore into the Connecti- publishing the premier paper on the Hurricane of 1938 in cut River Valley, killed 600 people, caused Monthly Weather Review. Other papers written by Pierce were $500 million in damage, and destroyed published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Soci- 20 000 buildings. Throughout his dedicated, ety and Weatherwise. 36-year-long career with the Weather Bu- Pierce is survived by his wife of 60 years, Betty (Beckwith) reau, Pierce became known as one of the of Yarmouth, Massachusetts; three sons, David of Walnut premier forecasters in the country. Creek, California, Ron of Copenhagen, Denmark, and Norman Born in Ontario, California, Pierce was of Ashby, Massachusetts; two brothers; and four grand- raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. He children. • began his formal education at Antioch Col- lege in Ohio, but on hearing that the Weather Bureau was looking for meteorologists be- cause of the expanding aviation industry, jl/Umxm^ enrolled at Clark University in 1930 to study meteorology. While at Clark, he studied un- der Charles Franklin Brooks, one of the founders of AMS and directors of the Blue Hills Observatory. He eventually transferred to the Massachusetts Institute of Technol- 1927-1995 ogy and then transferred to Boston Univer- sity, where he received his B.S. in 1933. While earning his baccalaureate degree, Pierce worked at the Blue Hills Observatory in 1932 as an undergraduate research as- 1917-1995 sistant and observer. He also was a fore- 1838 Vol. 76, No. 10, October 1995
Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society – American Meteorological Society
Published: Oct 1, 1995
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