Tag Archives: holidays

Why our forecasts say “Washington’s Birthday” instead of “Presidents Day”

George Washington
Did you know there is no such holiday as "Presidents Day?" The holiday is technically titled "Washington's Birthday" per Section 6103 (a) of Title 5 of the United States Code.

You may have noticed that our forecasts leading up to Monday’s holiday say “Washington’s Birthday” instead of “Presidents Day.”  Why is that?  Because, believe it or not, there is no Federal holiday called Presidents Day.

You read that right.  If you don’t believe us, check out official calendar from the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.   As it turns out the third Monday of every February, while we commonly refer to it as Presidents Day, is by U.S. Code officially titled Washington’s Birthday.

The holiday began with an Act of Congress in 1880 and was for government offices in Washington DC.  It was expanded in 1885 to include all federal offices and was celebrated on George Washington’s actual birthday of February 22.

Then, in 1971 the Uniform Monday Holiday Act shifted the celebration to the third Monday of each February so now the date can range anywhere from the 15th to the 21st.  An early draft of that act would have renamed the holiday to Presidents Day but it failed in a Congressional committee in 1968.

So there you have it.  When someone says something about Monday’s holiday being Presidents Day, you can correct them and tell them there is no such holiday.

From the National Weather Service:

Q. Why did the National Weather Service (NWS) change its weather forecast references from Presidents Day to Washington’s Birthday in 2011?

A.  Weather forecast references were changed because the holiday is officially designated as “Washington’s Birthday” in Section 6103 (a) of Title 5 of the United States Code, which is the law that specifies holidays for Federal employees.  Although other institutions such as state and local governments and private businesses may use other names, it is NWS policy to refer to holidays by the names designated in the law.

Q. Wasn’t the holiday changed to Presidents Day when it was established by Congress to be observed on the third Monday in February?

A. No.  The effort to rename the holiday Presidents Day, intended to honor the birthdays of both Washington and Lincoln, failed in Congressional committee.  The bill, which was then signed into law on June 28, 1968, specified that the Federal holiday would retain the name Washington’s Birthday. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act of January 1, 1971, established its observance on the third Monday in February.

Q. What changes did the NWS implement to make this change?

A. The NWS changed the software on all its Internet web pages and at all local Weather Forecast Offices so that forecasts which include Washington’s Birthday will show the officially designated name for the holiday this year and into the future.

A holiday message from ThorntonWeather.com

Happy holidays from ThorntonWeather.com!  Image of the old Eastlake grain elevator, Christmas Eve 2009. (ThorntonWeather.com)
Happy holidays from ThorntonWeather.com! Image of the old Eastlake grain elevator, Christmas Eve 2009. (ThorntonWeather.com)

Mother Nature was kind enough to bring us a white Christmas this year and the city looks beautiful covered in a blanket of white as we sit here and write this.  The holidays are a special time of year for us as we are sure it is for all of our visitors. 

Other than a brief interruption courtesy of the U.S. Navy, we are life-long residents of the north metro area and have lived in Thornton more than 11 years.  We are proud to call the city our home and believe it is one of the finest communities in the state.  Over the past year ThorntonWeather.com has grown by leaps and bounds and thousands of area residents get their weather from us.  We provide the site as a public service and it makes us happy to see so many people trust us to provide them with the latest news, information and forecasts. 

Please take some time out of all the hustle and bustle of the coming days to remember our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines who are serving and protecting our nation at home and abroad.  Many of them won’t be with their families this holiday and it is important that we keep them in our prayers and let them know that we are thinking about them. May God watch over all of them! 

We wish all of you a safe and happy holiday season and new year and thank you for using ThorntonWeather.com.  Having traveled the world, we truly believe there is nothing like a ‘Colorado Christmas’ and to demonstrate that, we offer up this video as proof.  Happy holidays!

Best books to give to the weather enthusiast

Today we’ll take a look at some of the best books out there for the weather enthusiast in your life as well as for kids interested in learning more about the weather.
Today we’ll take a look at some of the best books out there for the weather enthusiast in your life as well as for kids interested in learning more about the weather.

Weather-related gifts for the “weather geek” in your life abound.  From books to increase ones knowledge of weather to personal weather stations and even clothes and novelties all make great gifts this holiday season.  Today we’ll take a look at some of the best books out there for the weather enthusiast in your life as well as for kids interested in learning more about the weather. 

ThorntonWeather.com’s top four weather books for the weather enthusiast

Colorado Weather Almanac – Written by Mike Nelson of Denver’s KMGH channel 7, this is the definitive book about Colorado weather.  Everything from how our geography impacts the weather in Colorado to historical weather information to storm chasing is covered.  This is highly recommended.  Click here to read my full review of the book.

The Weather Book: An Easy-to-Understand Guide to the USA’s Weather – By Jack Williams of USA Today, this covers the entire gamut of weather phenomena and conditions all with the beautiful illustrations USA Today’s weather section is famous for.  This easy to read book is a great one for those wanting to learn more about the weather but it also has plenty of in depth information for even those already well versed on the basics. 

Weather: The Ultimate Book of Meteorological Events – This newly released hardcover book has some of the most beautiful (and scary) photos you will ever see of weather events.  Accompanied by essays from meteorology and climate change experts, book has 20 years worth of photos of significant weather events.  Also included are U.S. and international monthly climactic data charts, 365 days of weather trivia and significant events in meteorological history.

Adventures in Tornado Alley: The Storm Chasers – Quite simply, wow!  The images this book contains will amaze and astound you.  Professional storm chasers Mike Hollingshead and Eric Nguyen document some of their most incredible chases across the nation’s midsection in photographs and text.  Absolutely stunning imagery.  

Three weather books for kids

The Kids’ Book of Weather Forecasting – For your 3rd to 5th grader, this book provides a great primer for kids interested in learning more about the weather.  Beautiful illustrations make the topics easy to understand and experiments like making a barometer and rain gauge gives kids a hands-on experience.

Storm Chasers! On the Trail of Twisters – Written for kids 7 – 13 years old by veteran storm chasers, this helps to explain severe weather to youth.  Colorful illustrations help kids become familiar with various types of storms, learn how to spot them and teaches them storm chasing safety and responsible storm chasing behavior. 

The Weather Detectives – This book chronicles three kids as they investigate weather phenomena like the causes of tornadoes, hurricanes, ice and hail storms, flash floods, the Northern Lights, and more.  Written by a professional meteorologist, this book is sure to educate and entertain.