John Hope

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John Hope
John Raymond Hope

(1919-05-14)May 14, 1919
Pennsylvania, U.S.
DiedJune 13, 2002(2002-06-13) (aged 83)
Macon, Georgia, U.S.
Alma materUniversity of Illinois (M.S., Meteorology)
Occupation(s)Meteorologist (former), The Weather Channel
Years active1982–2002
Known forMeteorologist on the Weather Channel
SpouseBernice La Pira

John Raymond Hope (May 14, 1919 – June 13, 2002) was an American meteorologist and on-air personality at The Weather Channel. He was regarded as one of the nation's most respected hurricane forecasters.

Early life

John Hope was born on May 14, 1919, in Pennsylvania. He was the second child out of five, and he was raised on a dairy farm in Stowell, Pennsylvania.[1] Hope served as a flight navigator in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. After returning to civilian life, Hope earned a degree in meteorology from the University of Illinois, and later got his Master's at the University of Chicago.[2]


John Hope began his career as a meteorologist for the United States Weather Bureau (later the National Weather Service) in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1949.[1] When astronaut John Glenn made his famous spaceflight in 1962, Hope served on the mission's meteorological team. In 1968, Hope began working for the National Hurricane Center in Miami, Florida. While at the center, Hope began receiving recognition for his technical achievements in hurricane forecasting. During this time, he developed a theorem commonly known as the John Hope Rule. It consists of two sub-theorems. One, that if a system is not a bona fide tropical storm before crossing the Windward Islands, or the Lesser Antilles, it will not survive the trek across the Eastern Caribbean Sea. If the wave is still present, formation in the Western Caribbean is possible. The second portion is, that if the structure of a wave or storm is good, never discount it or write it off.

After retiring from thirty-two years with the National Weather Service, John Hope joined The Weather Channel when it was created in 1982. With his calm on-air demeanor, Hope became quickly recognized as The Weather Channel's in-house hurricane expert. In 1989 when Hurricane Hugo struck South Carolina, Hope spent several hours on the air warning the channel's viewers of the approaching hurricane's danger. Some credit Hope with saving lives during the storm due to his tireless on-air efforts. He would continue to appear on-air for the channel's Tropical Updates until his death, by which time full-time duties had passed to Steve Lyons.[3]


John Hope died on June 13, 2002, at the age of 83 as a result of complications related to heart surgery.[1] Hope was interred at Riverside Cemetery in Macon, Georgia.


Hope was one of the most recognizable meteorologists of his day. In his honor, The Weather Channel created the John R. Hope Scholarship in Atmospheric Sciences in January 2000, two years before his death. The scholarship is an annual $2,500 award permanently endowed by the network and is administered by the American Meteorological Society.[4]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Galle, Julie (June 13, 2002). "TV hurricane forecaster John Hope dead at 83". USA Today. Archived from the original on September 4, 2016. Retrieved April 30, 2022.
  2. "John Hope, 83; Popular Expert on Hurricanes at Weather Channel". Los Angeles Times.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. Weather Channel. Weather Loses Long-time Forecaster John Hope. Retrieved on 2008-05-17. Archived October 4, 2002, at the Wayback Machine
  4. “AMS announces a new undergraduate scholarship: The John R. Hope scholarship in atmospheric sciences.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, vol. 81, no. 6, June 2000, p. 1390.