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CINDY DAY: Looking back on a legend

A friendly smile on a familiar face: meteorologist Rube Hornstein in front of his simple yet very effective weather map.
A friendly smile on a familiar face: meteorologist Rube Hornstein in front of his simple yet very effective weather map. - SaltWire File Photo

Part 1

Does anyone know the name David Devall? I grew up watching Mr. Devall present the weather on CFTO in Toronto.

I was always intrigued by the weather and loved how Mr. Devall made those three minutes tucked in the newscast, come to life.

Not long after I moved to Nova Scotia, people started asking me if I had ever heard of Rube Hornstein? Mr. Hornstein did the weather for CBC Television from 1954 until he retired in 1981.

In case you didn’t have the pleasure…

Rube Hornstein joined the meteorological branch of the federal Department of Transport and from 1938 to 1940, was a forecaster at St. Hubert and Malton airports. In 1940, he was transferred to Halifax as officer-in-charge of the meteorological section of Eastern Air Command, administering meteorological services for all three branches of the Armed Forces from 1940 to 1946. For the next 26 years, he was officer-in-charge of the Halifax Atlantic Weather Centre.

Rube started doing radio reports for the CBC in Halifax in 1946 and hosted a popular show called “Ask the Weatherman.”

He authored many scientific papers and three lovely booklets: “Weather Facts and Fancies” in 1948, “It’s In the Wind” in 1950 and “Weather and Why” in 1954. McClelland and Stewart published “The Weather Book” in 1980 and “Après la pluie, le beau temps” in 1981.

Later in life, Hornstein, whose father was blind, lent his voice to audio books for the blind. Rube Hornstein passed away in January of 2003 at the age of 90.

Last month, an email came in from Paul McNeil. He was decluttering and came across two weather booklets written by Rube Hornstein. They were purchased by his father. Paul wanted to know if they might be of interest to me.

A few days later I was holding the lovely books in my hand. As I stood at my office window overlooking the city Rube loved so dearly, my thoughts wandered off to a very special afternoon…

To be continued…



Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.

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