Why was the official Chicago weather reporting station moved from Midway Airport to O’Hare Airport?
The switch of the official Chicago climate station from Midway to O’Hare took place on Jan. 16, 1980, ending a nearly 38-year span at Midway that began July 1, 1942. The rapid growth of commercial aviation in the 1950s warranted the opening of the city’s second weather office at O’Hare on Oct. 30, 1958, though Midway remained the official site. In the late 1970s, budget considerations made it impossible to staff two weather offices, and with aviation’s future clearly at O’Hare, the Midway office was closed. Weather observations have continued there with the help of contract observers, automated equipment and retired National Weather Service observer Frank Wachowski.