WJXT‘s first meteorologist George Winterling died Wednesday at the age of 91.
Winterling was also the Jacksonville, Florida station’s first chief meteorologist and held the position for 47 years before retiring in 2009.
The station said Winterling developed the term humiture, which later became known as the heat index to better explain to viewers how hot it felt outside.
Winterling was hired as the station’s first meteorologist in 1962. While working at the United States Weather Bureau, now known as the National Weather Center office, in Jacksonville, he noticed none of the weather programs available at the time explained to the public what the weather was doing and why.
“I am deeply saddened by the news of George Winterling’s passing. George was a legendary figure in Jacksonville and a trusted source of information during weather events for more than 50 years. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Winterling family during this difficult time,” said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry.
“In addition to being just a wonderful human being and of course a great fellow Seminole, George set the bar for credibility in television meteorology. He was instrumental in many of the emergency preparedness measures we have in place today and first and foremost he was a lover of Jacksonville. Heaven has gained a new community garden and we have lost a giant,” said Mayor-elect Donna Deegan.