A weather beacon is a beacon that indicates the local weather forecast in a code of colored or flashing lights. Often, a short poem or jingle accompanies the code to make it easier to remember. (example, example 2)
The beacon is usually on the roof of a tall building in a central business district, but some are attached to towers. The beacons are most commonly owned by financial services companies and television stations and are part of advertising and public relations programs. They provide a very basic forecast for the general public and not as an aid to navigation.
In addition to displaying weather forecasts, some weather beacons have been used to signal victory or defeat for a professional sports home team.
The first attempt to create a weather beacon as a form of advertising was from Douglas Leigh, who, in 1941, arranged a lighting scheme for the Empire State Building to display a weather forecast code with a decoder to be packaged with Coca-Cola bottles. The plan was never implemented because of the attack on Pearl Harbor later that year. Mr. Leigh resurrected his idea in Minneapolis in October 1949 with the Northwestern National Bank Weatherball.
Weather beacons were most popular during the 1950s and '60s.
- Coastal warning display tower
- Time ball
- Paris balloon
- Harbinger at The Met Condos, Toronto, is a colored beacon on the roof that indicates the current wind speed.
List of weather beacons
- New South Wales
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Kingsgate Apartments (formerly MLC building) 171 St Georges Terrace, Perth (October 1957 – ????; dismantled)
- Wetterleuchtturm, Ringturm, Vienna
- Who's afraid of Red, Green and Blue: Weather Tower, Dexia Tower, Brussels (22 October 2007 – 22 December 2007)
- Kitchener City Hall, Kitchener, Ontario
- Canada Life Building, Toronto, Ontario (9 August 1951 – present)
- 505 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, Montreal, Quebec (April 1956 – January 1976)
- The Plains Hotel, Regina (Being redeveloped as a Hilton Hotel)
- Vejrpigerne (Weather Girls), Richshuset, The City Hall Square, Copenhagen
- Tomorrow's Weather, Copenhagen
- Light Towers Project (Coventry Point, Mercia House, Hillman House), Coventry
- Castlemilk Lighting Project, Glasgow
- New York
- North Carolina
- Manteo Weather Tower 
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- KELO weatherball, Sherman Hotel, Aberdeen (dismantled)
- First National Bank, Pierre
- National Bank of South Dakota (now US Bank), 141 N. Main Avenue, Sioux Falls (non-functioning)
- KDLO weatherball tower, 421 9th Av SE, Watertown (dismantled)
- Mercantile Weather Tower, Mercantile National Bank Building, Dallas (1958–1993; 12 February 2008 – present)
- 100 North Stanton Street, El Paso (1955 – ????; non-functioning)
- Texas National Bank (later Conoco) Weather Eye, Travis Tower, Houston (17 October 1955 – 1964; dismantled)
- Alamo National Bank weather spire (now Drury Plaza Hotel), 105 S. St. Mary's Street, San Antonio
- Manhattan Users Guide
- "Remembering a beloved icon", Northwestern Financial Review
- Federation and Meteorology, Memories of the Bureau, 1946 to 1962, page 1032
- MLC Building, North Sydney
- Photo of Westpac Place: View of the weather beacon displaying its red light panels
- Brisbane's weather beacon: new bulbs needed! :: ABC Brisbane
- Brisbane's Weather Beacon » ABC Brisbane
- Hitachi Building, Brisbane
- Hitachi Building Weather Beacon RIP sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- Weather beacon to be given the flick – Queensland – BrisbaneTimes
- McCarthy, John (19 November 2007). "Weather beacon to be turned off". The Courier-Mail.
- MLC Building, Adelaide
- Lloyd, Tim (30 March 2007). "City beacon stands tall". The Advertiser.
- 303 Collins Street, Melbourne
- "Who's afraid of Red, Green and Blue" – an urban installation by LAb[au] on Brussels Dexia Tower
- Coolopolis: Montreal 50s SKYTOWER woot-woot!!!!
- 505 Boulevard René-Lévesque Ouest, Montreal
- 2,640 Colored Bulbs Will Predict Weather, The Gazette, 13 April 1956, p. 23
- Montreal this morning, The Gazette, 14 Jan. 1976, p. 3
- Correction, The Gazette, 17 Jan. 1976, p. 4 (beacon to be demolished, not building)
- STAWAG – Die Wettersäule
- Beyazit Tower
- icCoventry – Put that light out!
- Coventry Design Awards 2001 – Three Towers Lighting Project : Hillman House, Corporation Street
- Mattei Building, Fresno
- News10.net – News10 Weather Tower Key
- Nolte, Carl (8 December 2008). "Lights atop One Rincon Hill signal S.F. weather". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. B–1. Retrieved 13 December 2008.
- Dickinson, Joy Wallace (7 April 2002). "Short Play Brings Rainmaker's 1939 Tale Back to Life". Orlando Sentinel.
- Orlando Sentinel – History of the Church Street Station Area by
- Bell Savings Building, Chicago
- Clocks of Chicago 1: Bell Federal
- Weather Bell sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- Weather Bell
- Clocks of Chicago 1: Bell Federal Savings
- Memories Of Marina City
- KCCI Weather Beacon – Des Moines Weather News Story – KCCI Des Moines
- Warmer Weather Ahead sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- Colder Weather in Sight sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- Channel 9 KCAU-TV Weather Ball
- "What Do The Weather Lights Mean?". WLWT.com. Hearst Television. 17 April 2009. Retrieved 2 September 2010.
- 1952 The Falstaff Weather Ball is First Lit
- The Urban Conservancy › News Roundup › Falstaff Brewery complex sold for $1.1 million (27 Jun 2006)
- Falstaff Brewery – New Orleans Louisiana sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- New Orleans CityBusiness – The Business Newspaper of Metropolitan New Orleans
- New Orleans, Louisiana Daily Photo
- Nostalgia: Falstaff Weather Ball
- Tower shines after 50 years: 10/1/00
- Grand Rapids Business Journal – Weather Ball History
- weather ball sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- Valley City Sign
- The Technical History of WEBC Radio: Chapter Five
- New Header
- Guided by History: Weatherball
- MNHS.ORG | Exhibits | Weather Permitting
- History of the NWS in the Twin Cities – At the Airport
- A History of Minneapolis: Banking and Finance
- "Remembering a beloved icon". Northwestern Financial Review. 2001.[dead link]
- MHS Visual Resource Database Image
- Pershing Building, Kansas City
- Blacktie-StLouis | PREMIERE EVENTS | The 8-foot, 1200-pound neon ball sits on top of a 50-foot rotating tower and can be seen over a 10-mile radius when lit
- Terra Cotta Lofts, St. Louis
- Weather Ball 2 sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- Weather Ball sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- US Bank Tower, Billings
- Dunlap, David W. (4 February 2008). "No More MONY in the Midtown Skyline". The New York Times.
- Gothamist: Find Another Weather Forecast
- Mutual of New York Building, New York City
- Burleigh County : General Information
- Bismarck-Mandan Blog – Weather Beacon: been there, done that, got the t-shirt
- Save the Weather Beacon! You can help!
- Chiquita Center, Cincinnati
- Lisa Miller (producer) (1987). WKRC-TV Gets Weather Beacon (Television advertisement). Cincinnati, Ohio: WKRC-TV.
♪ If you wanna know / what the weather will be / just look up to the top / of the Chiquita Building. ♪
- Tulsa TV Weather
- Tulsa Historical Society | Learn | Exhibits | Historic Sites
- 320 S. Boston 3 sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- Standard Insurance Plaza, Portland
- "Sign in to OregonLive.com". The Oregonian.
- Downtown Portland from our window by Gallun : Weather Underground
- officeflowers sur Flickr : partage de photos !
- New twist on an old landmark – Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
- Gulf Building, Pittsburgh
- US Bank Building, Sioux Falls
- 28 January 2007 – Provident: a Beacon in the Chattanooga Community – Memories – Chattanoogan.com
- Maclellan Building, Chattanooga
- http://www.nashvillewebreview.com/automat/nashville/popular_buildings/LandC/landc_brochure/LandC2.html. Missing or empty
- Mercantile clock to tick once again | Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Steve Brown | Real Estate | Business Columnist | Dallas Morning News
- The Center for American History
- ImageShack – Hosting :: 6006032fa.jpg
- Travis Tower, Houston
- ImageShack – Hosting :: 6006085yc.jpg
- SixFlagsHouston.com | Photos :: Historical Photos :: globe
- Drury Plaza Hotel River Walk, San Antonio, Texas
- Drury Plaza Hotel- San Antonio Riverwalk, San Antonio
- KSL 5 Eyewitness Weather Tower at Trolley Square – Utah News from KSL-TV, Salt Lake City, Utah
- ksl.com – Historic weather tower lights up skyline
- http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qn4196/is_20060308/ai_n16164672. Missing or empty
- JS Online: Galvin envisioned weather flame on old Gas Co. building
- Wisconsin Gas Building sur Flickr : partage de photos !