Experimental station 9XM, operated by the University of Wisconsin in Madison, had been used before World War One to transmit weather forecasts by radiotelegraphy. This service was suspended during the war due to the ban on the use of radio equipment by civilians, but was reinstated following the lifting of restrictions. During the war the university had experimented with radiotelephone equipment, and so it now worked to develop an audio weather broadcast in addition to the Morse code broadcasts. Although there were hopes that the audio service would start in early 1920, technical issues delayed its start until January, 1921. In January, 1922, the station was licenced as broadcasting station WHA.
Eau Claire (Wisconsin) Leader, January 17, 1920, page 6:
WIRELESS TELEPHONE FOR FARMERS LATEST THING, SAYS U. S. WEATHER FORECASTER
The farmers of Wisconsin are to be up to the last minute in the way of modern inventions if Eric R. Miller of the United States weather bureau has his way. The Madison forecaster would have them use wireless telephones to get the weather predictions.
"We have found out that just an ordinary receiving set can be installed in the farmer's homes and at a certain hour each day the weather report can be sent out," said Mr. Miller.
If this system can be worked out, it will be of great advantage to the farmer. He will be able to get the exact report on the weather each day and regulate his work accordingly. One or two bits of timely advice would more than pay for the inexpensive receiving set necessary.
The wireless telephone has a great advantage over the other means of communication in that no preparation or study is necessary to be able to receive a message. If a farmer had a battery, coil, aerial and a receiver, he could get any message sent out from the weather station.
Much time would be saved by the weather bureau if this system was used. It would only take a short time to send out the report by wireless telephone each day and everyone having a receiver would be able to get the information at the same time. Approaching storms or rains could be reported in advance so that the farmers could prepare for them. Thus much damage could be avoided.
Madison (Wisconsin) Capital Times, January 22, 1920, page 7:
WIRELESS OUTFIT TO COMMUNICATE WEATHER REPORT
Physics Department Installs Apparatus to Send-Out Messages
The sending, of weather forecasts by the wireless telephone and telegraph in the Physics building to go to Wisconsin farmers will be resumed by the first of next semester or before. Until the war stopped it the Physics department sent out such messages by wireless only.
All farmers and others within a radius of 200 miles who install a simple receiving outfit will benefit by the plan. Tobacco growers, especially, need to know beforehand of sudden changes of weather. Such a plan will eliminate telegraph service and slow telephone communication with individual farmers.
The weather bureau will send the weather report every morning to the Physics department, to be relayed on to all persons wishing to receive the service. The physics department, therefore, disclaims all responsibility the accuracy of the reports.
Members of the department and students of physics are now at work on the wireless telegraph outfit. The wireless telephone is all ready to begin its work, but will not be used until the telegraph is also ready.
Madison (Wisconsin) Capital Times, March 11, 1920, page 3:
WIRELESS SENDS WEATHER REPORT DAILY TO FARMS
University Service Carries More Than 500 Miles to Stations
The sending of daily weather reports by wireless to Wisconsin farmers and others was started last week by the physics department in co-operation with the U. S. weather bureau stationed on the campus. During the first week, the reports were sent out only by wireless telegraph, but within a few days will be sent both by wireless telegraph and by wireless telephone.
The report is sent daily between 9:50 and 10 a. m. and is the official weather report released at 9:30. It may be received by anyone who has a wireless telegraph or telephone receiving set tuned to the proper wave-length. Inquiries received by the department indicate that many will receive the report for, by this method, they may get it almost 12 hours earlier than by mail.
The wireless telegraph service will be sent out on about 1000-meter wave length and will carry more than 500 miles. The wireless telephone service will be sent out on a 1300-meter wave length and will carry about 100 miles. No code will be required for the telephone service.
Madison (Wisconsin) Capital Times, July 31, 1920, page 2:
MADISON WEATHER MAN TO HARNESS HAVOC OF WIND
Forecaster Miller Would Install Wireless Telephone Service
Destructive wind and rain storms may be hard to harness, but if a plan materializes which is sponsored by Eric Miller, in charge of the U. S. Weather Bureau here, Wisconsin farmers can plan at least a timely reception for such severe weather changes. He proposes to supply a daily wireless telephone service.
Beginning in February he has been sending out daily weather reports by wireless through the cooperation of the Physics department of the University of Wisconsin.
"Wireless weather reports are entirely practicable as a part of our service to farmers and others interested in changes of the weather," declares Mr. Miller. "Reports by wire are slow in reaching individuals. By means of wireless telephone receiving outfits installed in private homes or at central points in cities, it will be possible to receive a timely message from us each forenoon."
Wisconsin (Madison) State Journal, September 19, 1920, page 1.
WIRELESS AGAIN TO SEND WEATHER
UNIVERSITY STATION TO RESUME STATEWIDE SERVICE ON MONDAY
Daily weather reports by wireless will be resumed by the Madison bureau on Monday at 10 a. m. The forecast again will be flashed from the university station, which has not been in use during the summer vacation.
The messages, sent at 1,000 meter wave lengths, can be heard over the entire state and reports last year indicated that they had been picked up at stations in Duluth, Minneapolis, and even as far distant as North Dakota.
"This is the quickest way possible for people to get the forecast," declared Eric Miller, meteorologist at the Madison bureau, who is seeking to encourage amateurs in use of the wireless. "A receiving outfit will cost no more, than $10 or $15," he points out, "and any boy can set one up at his home. Many high schools throughout the state have wireless outfits and take in the weather forecast daily."
The weather forecast is by no means the only interesting message that can be picked up, declares Mr. Miller. The correct time also is sent out at 11 a. m. daily. In addition, the receiving outfit often can get the conversations between boats on the Great Lakes and can even hear the government station at Arlington talking to European countries and ships messaging each other on the Atlantic.
The Continental Morse code is used in the messages sent out here and Mr. Miller points out that amateurs who desire to fit up outfits can obtain copies of the code at practically any Western Union office.
Manitowoc (Wisconsin) Herald-News, September 24, 1920:
WIRELESS WEATHER REPORTS SENT OUT
Daily weather reports by wireless were resumed by the Madison bureau Monday, according to word received here. The reports are sent out at 10 a. m. from the university station at 1,000 meter wave lengths and can be heard over the entire state. Several amateur wireless operators in this city often pick up the signals.
The service is said to be of great benefit to fruit growers and farmers and is inexpensive as well. A receiving outfit can be bought for $10 or $15 and anyone can set one up at his home. Many high schools throughout the state have wireless outfits and copy the forecast daily, it is said. In addition to this special service the correct time is also sent out at 11 a. m. daily.
This service was discontinued during the summer vacation period.
(Madison, Wisconsin) Capital Times, January 19, 1921, page 5:
WIRELESS PHONE HEARD IN TEXAS
New Jersey Also Gets Weather Reports From University Bureau Here
That the wireless telephone and telegraph weather reports sent out from Madison at 12:30 daily are heard in Texas, Kansas, New Jersey, and on the Canadian border is indicated by letters received at the wireless experimental station of the Physics department of the University of Wisconsin. Reports show that the wireless telephone, messages are clearly heard at these distances.
The reports of weather changes that are sent out are received from the U. S. weather bureau at the university. They are sent out from the physics department station by Malcolm Hanson, formerly with the naval aircraft radio experimental corps, at 12:30 daily so that persons who have wireless sets may "listen in" to the weather reports during the noon hour.
The system enables farmers who have equipped themselves with inexpensive receiving sets to get the daily weather reports promptly.
Janesville (Wisconsin) Gazette, January 24, 1921, page 3:
FARMERS GET DAILY REPORT BY WIRELESS
Madison.--With the purchase of a fairly inexpensive wireless telephone receiving set, the up-to-date farmer can receive the United States weather bureau's daily weather report each noon from the University of Wisconsin. The new service does not apply to Wisconsin alone, for receiving sets in Texas, Kansas, Now Jersey, and on the Canadian border have reported receipt of the signals from the station here. At 12:30 each week-day afternoon, Malcolm Hanson, formerly of the naval aircraft experimental radio corps, starts the report, sending it first by wireless telegraph and repeating by wireless telephone.
(Madison, Wisconsin) Capital Times, January 28, 1921, page 1:
MUSICAL CONCERTS BY WIRELESS GIVEN AT U. W. STATION
Audience Can "Listen In" Within a Radius of 200 Miles From Campus
Musical concerts by wireless telephone are among the new experiments tried by the wireless station at the University of Wisconsin. They are given from 7 to 8 every Friday night and persons with a probable radius of about 200 miles may "listen in" at that time if they have the inexpensive receiving sets that are necessary.
These concerts will be given with the same equipment used in the sending of daily weather reports from the university. Victrola music and music by various instruments will be played. It is expected that the music may be clearly heard at long distance.