Dick Groeber, who spent decades providing ‘Dick’s Weather Service’ to Springfield, dies at 80

“It’s a joy, just to see a change, watch the different weather movements, and try to outguess mother nature.” — Dick Groeber

He was called a “weather watcher,” “amateur meteorologist,” “weather observer” and sometimes a “weather reporter.”

Whatever you wanted to call him, Dick Greober — who died on June 6 at age 80 — was known as Springfield’s unofficial official weatherman.

Self-taught weatherman

Greober was born on April 20, 1944, in Springfield and attended attended Saint Teresa Elementary School and Catholic Central High School and graduated from Urbana College in 1966.

He worked for the Springfield Post Office from 1969-1992 as a mail handler.

“I have a job at the post office where I get the money for the upkeep of all this equipment,” he said during an interview with the Springfield News-Sun in 1985.

Weather for Groeber started in the 1950s as a hobby. He was not formally educated as a meteorologist, but picked up information on his own through books and area weather experts.

“It requires some knowledge of the science. You can’t just look at a lot of this data and make up a forecast,” he said.

From his home, Groeber plotted the climate across the nation, which helped him decide what was going to happen in Springfield.

His equipment ranged from radios and computers to a roof-top anemometer that measured wind speed and direction.

His outdoor weather station was labeled “Dick’s Weather Service.”

On the radio

In 1956 Groeber called WBLY’s Smilin’ Bob with some climactic data, and began doing weather for the station periodically. Later he announced his forecast at 12:10 p.m. weekdays, on the AM station.

Groeber was a weather reporter for radio stations WBLY from 1956 through 1996 and WEEC-FM from 1976 through 1996.

In 2003, Groeber took “Dick’s Weather Service” online. His site, www.dicksweatherservice.com, was updated every half hour with weather conditions and data collected from his home.

In the newspaper

The Springfield News-Sun used weather information from Groeber from 1956 through 1996 in numerous weather related articles.

Not only was he called upon to comment on timely severe weather events, he also was featured in stories predicting things like if there would be a white Christmas or if Punxsutawney Phil was accurate in predicting an early Spring.

“I don’t put much faith in him at all,” said Groeber in 1988.

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service granted Groeber cooperative weather reporting status in 1996, and he also became the first Clark County weather reporter to the newly formed Community Collaborative Rain, Hail and Snow Network in 2000.

He became a member of the American Meteorological Society in 1958 and was upgraded to emeritus associate in 2020.

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