History of the Peoria Climatological Database
Weather observations began in Peoria in 1856, by Dr. Frederick Brendel. He made nearly continuous temperature and precipitation readings from 1856 through 1905. These observations serve as the backbone of the Peoria climatological database.
On February 1, 1905, the Weather Bureau (as the NWS was known back then) opened an observing station on the Bradley Institute (now Bradley University) campus. This station remained in operation until August 15, 1944. The station measured temperatures, wind speed and direction, precipitation, snowfall, and barometric pressure.
On March 1, 1935, a new Weather Bureau Airport Station (WBAS) was opened at the Peoria Municipal Airport. Occasional surface observations for airway operations were taken for the first year, then additional equipment was added. The operations of the City Office (Bradley campus) were merged with the Airport Office on May 4, 1943.
At the airport, the Weather Bureau office was located in the Administration Building. In October 1959, operations moved to the new Administration Building. They remained there until October 1979, when the NWS office moved to the Business Aviation Building.
On October 1, 1995, the Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) was commissioned at the Peoria Airport. This system automated most hourly and climatological observations. However, contract observers and tower personnel have monitored the ASOS for accuracy, adding data as needed, and taking snowfall observations.
A detailed history of the observation locations: