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David James Memorial Weather Station

Dr. David Richard James || July 12, 1959 - October 30, 2015

Dr. David James graduated from BYU with a Master’s Degree in Science where he later taught Geography. He also taught Earth Science at Eisenhower Jr High and Pleasant Grove Jr High. He was a beloved teacher and influenced many lives for good. He also served an LDS Spanish speaking mission in Chicago, Illinois.

Dr. James was a dedicated teacher in the BYU Geography Department and in 1985 established a cooperative NWS weather station on campus. Numerous students were trained by him to take the measurements over the past 30 years, and daily observations continue today.

Over the course of thirty years—between 1983 and 2012—Dr. James contributed extensive information to multiple publications about Utah’s weather and climate; and he reported on numerous weather events that were used by Utah newspapers and radio and television stations. Here are a few examples of Dr. James’ contributions that helped atmospheric scientists and the general public better understand Utah’s weather and climate:

1999 1987 1997 1983 When a well-documented tornado hit downtown Salt Lake City, Dr. James’ continued research on Utah’s tornadic history paved the way for atmospheric scientists to better understanding the frequency, distribution and probabilities of tornadic activity in the Beehive State. He produced a ground-breaking BYU master’s thesis on Utah’s tornadoes and waterspouts which corrected the misconception of many people at the time who believed that Utah rarely—if ever—experienced tornadoes or waterspouts. He was a major contributor to weather information that appeared in the widely-distributed book Utah’s Weather and Climate. He researched and co-produced a publication on the types of weather that had happened during LDS General Conferences since 1888.