Uncle Walt has died.
Longtime WPLG meteorologist Walt Cronise passed away at his home in Jacksonville on September 20. After a 25 year career forecasting the weather in the Navy, and a stint with the Hurricane Hunters, he joined WPLG in 1968 as a freelance weather forecaster when the station was still known as WLBW. Just a year later they promoted him to chief meteorologist.
Known to many as Uncle Walt, viewers knew him for his sharp forecasting skills, and for those oft promoted “fearless forecasts… rain or shine”. The bow tie was his symbol, earning him the nickname “The bow tie weather guy”, as were those pet names he gave thunderstorms – like toad stranglers, and swimming pool fillers. Through the years Cronise worked alongside legendary Ann Bishop, and later Dwight Lauderdale until he retired in December 1992.
Walt Cronise is survived by his wife Dorothy, five children, seven grandchildren and fourteen great-grandchildren. The family asks memorials in his name to be sent to Wounded Warrior Project or the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod World Relief
WPLG aired a nice tribute this evening, here’s the video:
Dwight Lauderdale reunites with Walter Cronise
Don Noe remembers Walt Cronise
Michael Putney remembers Walt Cronise