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Encyclopedia Dubuque


"Encyclopedia Dubuque is the online authority for all things Dubuque, written by the people who know the city best.”
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Affiliated with the Local History Network of the State Historical Society of Iowa, and the Iowa Museum Association.


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CHURCHILL, Tom. (Dubuque,IA- ). A weather-watcher since the age of eight, Churchill began doing his own forecasts at the age of fourteen for RADIO station WDBQ. Between 1974 and 1975 Churchill was interviewed on Tom Snyder's "Tomorrow" program, substituted for a vacationing weather forecaster in San Francisco, and was featured in the National Enquirer. In 1976 he won $16,000 in appearances on the nationally televised "The $128,000 Question" and began work for Teleprompter Channel 10. (1) He left Teleprompter in 1977 to complete high school.

Churchill later started his own forecasting service, Weather Watch Command. While the National Weather Service had an 83 percent accuracy rating within twelve hours of issuing a forecast, Churchill's record was nearly 92 percent. Churchill claimed his accuracy by the third twelve hours was 78 percent compared to the Weather Service at 60 percent. In 1991 he operated Weatheradio, a weather forecasting service for radio stations, in East Dubuque.

In the late 1980s Churchill became a civil rights activist. In 1983 he ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat on the Dubuque City Council and in 1991 applied for a seat on the Dubuque Human Rights Commission. (2) He formed CURE in 1991 and took an adversarial position against the leadership of Ernestine MOSS in the local branch of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF COLORED PEOPLE (N.A.A.C.P.). Without her participation, Churchill established a Dubuque N.A.A.C.P. youth branch. (3)





1. Brimeyer, Jack, "Dubuque Teen's Weather Expertise Leads to Spot on Lucrative Quiz Show," Telegraph Herald, September 3, 1976, p. 2

2. Barsarian, Tom, "Couple Looks for Racism CURE," Telegraph Herald, December 20, 1991, p. 3

3. Bagsarian, Tom. "Mixed Reviews for NAACP, Police Memorandum," Telegraph Herald, March 16, 1993, p. 3A