A coastal warning display tower (weather tower) was recently installed at the U.S. Weather Bureau Station in Hatteras, thanks to Cape Hatteras National Seashore’s philanthropic partner, Outer Banks Forever, and the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau. A short ceremony to celebrate the return of the weather tower and several other site improvements is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday, July 10 at the U.S. Weather Bureau Station.
The U.S. Weather Bureau, predecessor to the modern-day National Weather Service, established several weather stations and observation posts in North Carolina as part of a national network of weather stations throughout the late-1800s and early-1900s. Construction of the weather station in Hatteras was completed in 1901 and commissioning occurred on Jan. 1, 1902.
In the absence of modern early warning systems, weather stations like the one in Hatteras helped predict rough seas and severe weather. Weather observers often had just hours or minutes to warn residents of approaching storms using flags flown from the weather tower, and sirens. The new weather tower in Hatteras replaces a tower that was removed in the 1980s after it collapsed.
Several years ago, Cape Hatteras National Seashore began several projects to revive and protect the 1901 U.S. Weather Bureau building, which showed signs of suffering from the effects of the harsh coastal environment. The installation of a new roof, interior and exterior painting, and repairs to wooden handrails and porch decking, helped preserve the integrity of the historic building and provided much-needed protection from the elements. The fabrication and installation of the new weather tower caps off the series of important projects at the U.S. Weather Bureau Station.
The U.S. Weather Bureau Station in Hatteras, located at 57190 Kohler Road, operates as a welcome center by the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau through a partnership agreement with Cape Hatteras National Seashore. Staff from the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau plan to fly weather condition flags when the building is open to the public.