Observer magazine closes one chapter; Web site opens another

  • Published
  • By Mr. Miles Brown
  • Air Force Weather Agency Public Affairs
The November/December 2006 Observer magazine is the final printed issue, capping a 52-year run as the official periodical for Air Force weather professionals.
The end of the printed Observer era is not the end of quality news, feature stories and perspectives, it's the start of a modern, high-speed method of receiving information - the newly revamped Air Force weather Web site.
In keeping with the times, the Observer will morph into a Web-based news service beginning in February 2007. All the same quality weather stories plus news releases, photos, artwork, and more will be available 24/7 at
Web browsers will now have everything from official bios to organization and unit mission statement at their fingertips. Though many may not immediately embrace the move to the Web, as the Roman poet Ovid once wrote, "all things change; nothing perishes." It is true that readers will no longer have the magazine mailed to them every other month, and they will have to visit the Web site to read the latest and greatest event across the weather community. This does allow for much faster dissemination of information and more efficient in our communication. Efficient operations are directed by Air Force Smart Operations 21, and Air Force weather is streamlining operations with this move.
The Air Force is moving its news delivery more and more to the World Wide Web. Over the last few months, more than 20 Air Force publications have made the move from printed product to an on-line news process. The public affairs community must adjust to a 25 percent cut in overall manning and an ever-shrinking budget. Moving from an expensive, labor-intensive process like a magazine to a constantly updated Web site for communicating weather information is the logical next-step.
The Observer got its start as a monthly black and white tabloid newspaper back in the mid 1950s. In 1995, it was changed to a full-color monthly magazine. Once again, the winds of change reduced the monthly printing to bimonthly schedule in 2000. One thing has remained constant for more than 50 years - keeping Air Force weather forces, retirees and those interested in Air Force weather news informed. That mission continues today, just in a new format.
The new Web site,, will help keep the next generation of Air Force weather professionals at the forefront of weather news and leadership perspectives.