After 31 years, an iconic part of Minneapolis' skyline shines again

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Thirty-one years ago on Thanksgiving Day, a massive fire in downtown Minneapolis robbed the Northwestern National Bank of its iconic weather ball.

But on Friday evening, a new twist on the weather ball concept was shining over Nicollet Mall.

WCCO-TV chief meteorologist Chris Shaffer and reporter Heather Brown hit the switch on the WCCO Weather Watcher, giving Minneapolitans and downtown visitors the forecast in a color. Red means it’ll get warmer. Blue, cooler. White signals no change, and green means snow or rain.

“In Minnesota, our lives revolve around the weather and WCCO-TV is proud to present this Minneapolis landmark and important public service,” said Brien Kennedy, WCCO-TV’s vice president and general manager.

The Weather Watcher comes as part of the new WCCO-TV rooftop studio, which features a full working outdoor kitchen, a lawn and a panel of 3D artwork made by local artist with local materials.

“Our rooftop studio gives us amazing opportunities to connect with our audience in a very unique way,” said Mike Caputa, WCCO-TV’s news director.

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