James Weinman (1930–2012)
James (Jim) A. Weinman, beloved father, husband, physicist, and mentor, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 3rd at his home in Seattle. Jim was born on March 10, 1930 in Chicago, the only child of Rose (née Eiseman) and Louis Weinman, both Jewish immigrants from Germany. As a boy, he liked to clandestinely hop on the "schtreetcar" with his friends, play in vacant lots and explore the bustling Windy City.
With a thirst for learning, sharp scientific and mathematical mind, Jim started university when he was only 16. He earned a B.S. and M.S. from Illinois Tech and a PhD in Physics from University of Wisconsin-Madison. After working for the Carnegie Institution of Washington-Department of Terrestrial Magnetism and the Argonne National Laboratory, Jim joined the Meteorology Department at his alma mater in Madison where he was also a volunteer firefighter.
In 1989, Jim became a Senior Scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Centre where he was heavily involved with the joint U.S.-Japan Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM). While at NASA, he continued to develop rain and snow retrieval algorithms to apply to space-borne microwave radiometers.
Across his long and distinguished career as a physicist, Jim worked at the Antarctic research station, in the Amazon rainforest, Indonesia, Japan, and Australia. Indeed, he managed to visit every continent where he collaborated with other scientists and made many lifelong friends. A dedicated teacher and professional mentor, Jim inspired and encouraged many students onto successful careers in the atmospheric sciences.
Jim also loved to scuba dive, sail, bicycle and play squash. He had a wonderful sense of humor and was well-known as a prankster. In recent years, Jim served as a mentor to graduate students at the University of Washington Atmospheric Sciences Department. He also volunteered as a docent at the Seattle Museum of Flight and spent lots of time explaining the fascinating physics of baseball, paper airplanes, and weather forecasting to his grandchildren.