Weather man: Bowman takes hobby national

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 23, 2006

The Selma Times-Journal

What began as a hobby turned into an obsession for one local man.

And in the process, it has gotten him more than a nibble at some national attention.

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William Bowman has had an interest in weather nearly all his life. But not until recently, did it hit him how much he could make of it.

He was in Atlanta in May and had the opportunity to meet Vivian Brown, an afternoon anchor for the Weather Channel.

It was then that he was put on the Weather Channel’s list of weather watchers for the Selma area.

Bowman, who is partially blind, did not let that get in his way.

“It’s a nice opportunity to move forward with my hobby and be able to do it on a national level,” Bowman said. “They didn’t discriminate against me because of my vision impairment. They said to call them with whatever I’ve got. It’s a 24-hour deal. If something happens, I have to be able to do something with them.”

Bowman said he caught the weather bug back in the 1970s.

A mass communications major and speech minor in college, he took a meteorology course at Wallace-Selma and another similar course when he attended Auburn University Montgomery.

“That’s when I really got heavily bogged down into weather activity,” Bowman said.

In 1987, he signed on as a weather watcher for WSFA in Montgomery where he reported precipitation totals and tornado activity and also did some live reporting.

He has also been an Emergency Management Agency (EMA) volunteer for four years, providing similar services to that organization.

Bowman said as part of his work with the Weather Channel, he might have to provide pictures and do some video work.

“I’m really excited. This is giving me the opportunity to network with other folks.”