Paul Douglas (meteorologist)
Paul Douglas (born June 12, 1958; real name Douglas Paul Kruhoeffer) is a meteorologist, author, entrepreneur, and software expert in Minneapolis-St.Paul, Minnesota. He has over 30 years of broadcast television and radio experience.
During his first radio job in high school, the General Manager of WHEX-AM in Columbia, Pennsylvania, interviewed him on the phone and asked him what his name was. When he told him “Doug Kruhoeffer” there was a long pause. He said, "Our DJs can’t even say their own names. What’s your middle name?” Douglas told him “Paul”. He said, "Okay, from today on, if you want to collect a check for $25/week, your on-air name is Paul Douglas." This was 1975, and once he started using the Paul Douglas name on WHEX, it was hard to switch back.
Douglas had a consulting company called Total Weather when he was at Penn State working for WNEP-TV from 1976-1982, about a dozen radio stations, and a construction company. He resurrected Total Weather in Minnesota during his KARE 11 days in Minneapolis from 1985 to 1992. In addition to being on WLOL (with Hines and Bergland and Roger too!), he did morning radio spots with Steve Cochran at KDWB and provided weather forecasts for M.A. Mortenson, the construction company that put up the Mall of America. During his WCCO-TV days, he also did radio for WCCO-AM and WLTE-FM during the afternoon drive.
Douglas graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University in 1980. While a senior at Penn State University, he broadcast the weekend weather for WNEP-TV in Wilkes Barre/Scranton - where he was promoted to the weekday position in 1980.
In 1982-1983 he worked at Satellite News Channel in Stamford, CT, delivering 21 national weather shows daily. He was also tapped for appearances with Ted Koppel on ABC News Nightline.
From 1983 to 1994, Douglas was employed by KARE-TV in Minneapolis, MN. While there, he began a daily weather column in the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper. He authored a book, "Prairie Skies; The Minnesota Weather Book", and taught a broadcast meteorology class at St. Cloud State University in 1992-93. His most recent weather-related book, "Restless Skies; The Ultimate Weather Book", was released nationwide by Barnes & Noble in late 2004. It's now coming out of its second printing with Sterling Publishing.
Douglas received a Seal of Approval from the AMS, The American Meteorological Society. In 2005, he passed an exam to become Minnesota’s first CBM, or Certified Broadcast Meteorologist, recognized by the AMS in Boston. He served as Chief Meteorologist for WCCO-TV in the Twin Cities from 1997 to 2008.
He worked at WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, Minnesota from December 1997 until he was laid off in April 2008 as part of nationwide cutbacks by CBS. He currently leads a number of companies that he founded or co-founded, including WeatherNation (as CEO), Broadcast Weather (as CEO) and Smart Energy (as President). Douglas regularly writes and speaks about global warming and is critical of those who say that it is not occurring or is not caused by human actions.
Douglas wrote a daily weather column for the Star Tribune from 1997 until his replacement by the WCCO-TV weather team in February 2009. He provided forecasts for three local radio stations. He remains a reporter for the Twin Cities Public Television show Almanac.
He founded EarthWatch Communications in 1990, which created weather visualizations for the films Jurassic Park and Twister. He made a cameo appearance in a weather center scene in the latter. He also co-founded Digital Cyclone in 1998. The company creates weather applications and supplies content for wireless devices under the My-Cast brand name. Douglas sold Digital Cyclone to Garmin in 2007 for $45 million.
He makes monthly appearances on Twin Cities Public Television’s Almanac program where he discusses current weather trends and issues. He currently provides daily weather reports (print, video, and web) for the Star Tribune, additional daily blogs for the St. Cloud Times, Conservation Minnesota, and his company Media Logic Group, LLC.
In 1998, Douglas founded Digital Cyclone, Inc (DCI), which personalized weather forecasting for consumers on the web, e-mail, and cell phones. His goal is to create personal weather channels for every consumer on a new generation of data-enabled cell phone using his service Mobile My-Cast, which provides location-based weather alerts and hourly weather reports and custom weather graphics, including Doppler radar, lightning, and severe storm tracking on cell phones. In January 2007, Douglas sold DCI to Garmin, Inc, for $45 million. There were over 100 local Minnesota investors in Digital Cyclone.
In 2010, the Star Tribune rehired him as a weather blogger.
In the summer of 2011 a new, national 24x7 weather channel, WeatherNation TV was launched, with offices and studios in Denver and Minneapolis.
A separate subsidiary, HAMweather, provides custom data and graphics services to thousands of websites and applications nationwide with its Aeris Weather Data API and Aeris Weather Maps. Polaris and is tapping HAMWeather’s new generation of location-specific apps, tying in with social media.
Alerts Broadcaster is a commercial alerting service. It provides weather and natural hazard alerts as well as briefings and situation reports, lowering risk of threats with custom messaging and prompt information. Alerts Broadcaster offers location specific alerts, location custom messaging, phone, email and text alerts, mobile monitoring, custom briefings and phone conferencing.
Douglas is also co-founder of Singular Logic, a separate technology and patent-holding company, attempting to reinvent advertising by allowing consumers to choose the categories of ads they have to watch on their PCs, TV sets, cable systems, and mobile apps.
A third company, Smart Energy, is focused on fine-tuning forecasts for wind farms, utilities, and energy traders, with optimization algorithms extending into the HVAC and irrigation markets. Teaming with La Crosse Technology, an additional company, Data Direct, launched in 2012, providing data and support for consumer and corporate weather sensors deployed to personalize alerting services.
In 2012, Douglas and his partner Todd Frostad formed the company Media Logic Group to encapsulate the family of companies listed above.
Born in 1958, Douglas became interested in weather and public service at a young age. After suffering through a tropical storm (Agnes) in 1972, which flooded much of his hometown of Lancaster, PA, he developed a network of flood gauges, which were monitored by ham radio operators during flash flood situations.
At the age of 16, he became Weather Officer for Lancaster Country Civil Defense. An Eagle Scout, Douglas still teaches weather and astronomy merit badge to fellow scouts. He’s involved with the Northern Star Council of the Boy Scouts and a former board member for the Minnesota Planetarium Society, as well as Smartkey Corporation, which has created a device for vehicles.
He is also the spokesperson and public face of SAVE, Suicide Awareness Voices of Education, a non-profit company based in Bloomington, which counsels people suffering from depression, educates the public about warning signs, and helps to identify at-risk people nationwide.
Douglas volunteers his time for school talks, charitable fundraisers, and speaking engagements on such topics as his entrepreneurial career, tornado chasing, and climate change. He serves on the Climate Science Rapid Response Team (CSRRT), providing meteorological input along with 130+ climate scientists delivering science information to media and government representatives.
- The World Wide Web's Local Weatherman
- WCCO layoffs
- MinnPost — Roxane Battle: With Douglas out at 'CCO, TV anchors are no longer 'safe'
- Paul Douglas's LinkedIn profile
- Brauer, David. "Paul Douglas: 'I’m a recovering Republican, and I don’t recognize my party any more.'" Minnpost.com. Oct. 28, 2010
- Bio on Paul Douglas Foundation web site
- Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, April 4, 2008
- Paul Douglas, Restless Skies: The Ultimate Weather Book, Sterling Publishing, New York, 2007
- publisher notes
- Paul Douglas's LinkedIn profile
- Minneapolis St Paul Business Journal article on new ventures
- City Pages, March 30, 2009
- St. Cloud Times Weather
- Feb 14, 2010 post, "On Weather" blog
- Article about Douglas's stormy arrival at the StarTribune
- Paul Douglas Bio at National Science Teachers Association PDF
- A Republican meteorologist looks at climate change April 2, 2012