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Article posted: 4/21/2013 8:00 AM

Harry Volkman weathers wild Chicago climate

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Stepping outside his Itasca home during one of the warmest and driest moments of last week, legendary TV meteorologist Harry Volkman says he appreciates all kinds of weather.

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Using a grease pencil to complete his do-it-yourself weather map, a young Harry Volkman relied on his good memory to give viewers the weather details during his first TV gig in the 1950s at KOTV in Tulsa, Okla.

Courtesy of Harry Volkman

Smiling for this publicity postcard during one of his stints with WGN-TV, meteorologist Harry Volkman notes that fans who studied it closely would see that the map jokingly predicts "heavy snow" with a temperature of 85 degrees.

Courtesy of Harry Volkman

Harry Volkman, sitting behind a trio of Emmy Awards he won for his weather broadcasts, inspired generations of meteorologists. One of his fans was 13-year-old Tom Skilling of Aurora, who grew up to be the next king of Chicago weather forecasters.

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Quick with stories gleaned during more than five decades as a TV weatherman, the legendary Harry Volkman of Itasca turned 87 this week.

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Stepping outside his Itasca home during one of the warmest and driest moments of last week, legendary TV meteorologist Harry Volkman says he appreciates all kinds of weather.

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Longtime TV meteorologist Harry Volkman, the man who inspired a young Tom Skilling to get passionate about the weather, won these three Emmy Awards during the 1960s.

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Sharing a funny story from his 54 years as a TV weatherman, Harry Volkman was the first person to broadcast a tornado warning on TV.

Daniel White | Staff Photographer

This freak snowstorm in February 2007 brought legendary meteorologist Harry Volkman out of his Itasca home to talk about unusual weather. Having turned 87 on Thursday, Harry might be best remembered for the controversial time he became the first person to broadcast a tornado warning on TV.

Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

About this Article

Imagine a time when broadcasting tornado warnings was forbidden. Legendary TV meteorologist Harry Volkman of Itasca, who turned 87 this week, recalls the time he violated FCC rules by becoming the first weathercaster to issue a tornado warning on TV.
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    • Stepping outside his Itasca home during one of the warmest and driest moments of last week, legendary TV meteorologist Harry Volkman says he appreciates all kinds of weather.
    • Using a grease pencil to complete his do-it-yourself weather map, a young Harry Volkman relied on his good memory to give viewers the weather details during his first TV gig in the 1950s at KOTV in Tulsa, Okla.
    • Smiling for this publicity postcard during one of his stints with WGN-TV, meteorologist Harry Volkman notes that fans who studied it closely would see that the map jokingly predicts “heavy snow” with a temperature of 85 degrees.
    • Harry Volkman, sitting behind a trio of Emmy Awards he won for his weather broadcasts, inspired generations of meteorologists. One of his fans was 13-year-old Tom Skilling of Aurora, who grew up to be the next king of Chicago weather forecasters.
    • Quick with stories gleaned during more than five decades as a TV weatherman, the legendary Harry Volkman of Itasca turned 87 this week.
    • Stepping outside his Itasca home during one of the warmest and driest moments of last week, legendary TV meteorologist Harry Volkman says he appreciates all kinds of weather.
    • Longtime TV meteorologist Harry Volkman, the man who inspired a young Tom Skilling to get passionate about the weather, won these three Emmy Awards during the 1960s.
    • Sharing a funny story from his 54 years as a TV weatherman, Harry Volkman was the first person to broadcast a tornado warning on TV.
    • This freak snowstorm in February 2007 brought legendary meteorologist Harry Volkman out of his Itasca home to talk about unusual weather. Having turned 87 on Thursday, Harry might be best remembered for the controversial time he became the first person to broadcast a tornado warning on TV.
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