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Weather tracker pedals through Marlboro County

Published on Thursday, February 22, 2018

Weather tracker pedals through Marlboro County

BLENHEIM -- William Minor has spent the last several years traveling throughout this country following weather patterns.
Recently, he spent a few days at the Blenheim Fire Department.
Minor, who is 75, has traveled by bicycle with all of his belongings to help him feel and see the changes in the weather.
In doing this, he has kept journals about the people he has met and the weather conditions experienced along with pages of his own data and other information he has printed out.
Minor has not been home in two years since he started this leg of his journey in Lake Charles, La.
"We are not researching any particular storm but a pattern," he said.
In another life, he was a reporter for the Miami Herald. Among the stories he covered was the crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 401 in late December 1972.
After leaving journalism, Minor has moved throughout the country studying the weather and its patterns along with helping to raise awareness of volunteer fire departments.
"I am not a weatherman but a journalist so what you are getting from me is research," he said. "We fail because we don't pay attention to history."
He noted that 40 years ago there were only two satellites and now there are 19 plus weather satellites.
"Many years ago, we had better forecasting because we used almanacs," he said. "People paid attention to things going on around them and they observed the weather."
Minor noted that he is not a storm chaser.
"I do not chase," he said. "I move myself to be ahead. I am a journalist and a writer researching weather."
For him, Hurricane Matthew was the precursor to the current weather pattern.
Minor said he does not like to use terms like global warming because while there are things taking place with the climate, the word is a political term.
Currently, he is writing three books and is finishing his research.
His home is in Lancaster, Pa. Minor was born in Virginia on a farm and has one living brother.
"I am pretty much married to my work," he said.
He quoted Henry David Thoreau to illustrate his need to be objective -- "Public opinion is a weak tyrant compared with our own private opinion. What man thinks of himself, that it is which determines, or rather indicates, his fate."
"As a journalist, I have three things -- to document, to educate and to inform," he said.
Minor said the road ended for him in Blenheim.
"The biggest part of my data that I have been trying to do for 20 years has come together here," he said.
When asked what was next for him, Minor politely declined to discuss it and encouraged people to wait for his books.

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Author: Dan McNiel

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