Fred `Light Dusting' Davis

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ... ?

March 17, 2007|By Frederick N. Rasmussen

Retired meteorologist Fred "Light Dusting" Davis, 73, a longtime Pasadena resident who headed the National Weather Service's bureau at what is now Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport for 26 years, no longer worries about occluded fronts, winter weather advisories, hurricanes or summer droughts.

He says a sense of humor is an essential ingredient to have, especially when you're a weather forecaster.

Davis is still being kidded about the National Weather Service's "light dusting" prediction of Feb. 18, 1979, when 24 inches of snow blanketed the area.

"I still get blamed for that one. Geez, you'd think by now the statute of limitations would have run out, but I guess not," he said with a hearty laugh.

The Brockton, Mass., native says predicting weather here is difficult because of how the rain-snow line falls. "We tend to get lots of ice storms here, which gives some validity to the Baltimore panic when wintry weather is predicted," he said.

Retired since 1995, Davis has had a busy second career as a volunteer.

He works with Bello Machre, which means Home with a Heart, and Opportunity Builders Inc., where Barry, his 41 year-old autistic son, lives and works. He also spends time cooking at the Viva House soup kitchen in West Baltimore.

Davis enjoys water sports and spending time on the Magothy River with his grandchildren, Tommy, 10, and Kaylea, 13, aboard his boat Bonnie Weather.

He also likes watching the Weather Channel and checking his backyard "weather station," which consists of a thermometer and a rain and wind gauge.

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