Western mourns passing of meteorology legend
Beloved ‘Dr. Mel’ founded WCSU Weather Center
Director of WCSU Meteorological Studies and WCSU Weather Center
DANBURY, CONN. — Dr. Mel Goldstein, “Dr. Mel” as he was known to hundreds of thousands of television weather viewers, died early Wednesday at the age of 66. His passing is marked with great sadness among the community at Western Connecticut State University, where Dr. Mel was an institution.
Dr. Mel Goldstein with his wife Arlene
He courageously battled multiple myeloma, a form of cancer, for more than 15 years. Because of his deteriorating health, he had retired recently after 25 years at WTNH News Channel 8. Dr. Mel lived in Guilford with his wife Arlene. The two were married as undergraduates at Penn State in 1965. They have two daughters, Laura and Melodie.
“While Dr. Mel has touched the life of nearly everyone in Connecticut over the past four decades, his imprint on Western Connecticut State University has been especially significant,” said university President James Schmotter. “Not only did Dr. Mel begin our meteorology program — still the only one of its kind in the state — and our weather center, he was an inspiring mentor for generations of students. And the memories of all of us who had the good fortune to spend time with Dr. Mel will never fade. You could not help feeling better about the world and its future when you were around him.”
Long before he stood before a television camera, Dr. Mel was a professor at Western and he created the WCSU Weather Center, the first of its kind in New England. He retired from Western in 1986 after 27 years to become the chief meteorologist at WTNH-TV. But he never forgot his roots and visited Western often to share his expertise and to encourage students and faculty to continue their pursuits. Last spring Dr. Mel presented the annual President’s Lecture to a packed house in the Science Building.
His media career began soon after he started teaching at WCSU. Dr. Mel started on a single local radio station and by 1976, his broadcasts were on dozens of radio stations across the country. At that time, he began doing television weather. In the 1980s, his forecasts were seen nationwide on the Satellite News Channel, an all-news cable effort of ABC and Westinghouse.
Dr. Mel had received numerous awards, including the President’s Medal at WCSU for his years of teaching and community service, the Connecticut Bloomer Award for his contributions to the state, and a nomination for an Emmy for a series of education vignettes about weather. For eight consecutive years, he was voted Connecticut’s best television weatherperson in a reader’s poll of Connecticut Magazine.
Beyond the accolades and awards, Dr. Mel was genuine and enthusiastic about everything he did. He handled all of life’s storms with laughter and aplomb and once said that weather, with all its unpredictability and occasional devastation, taught him to keep an even temperament.
“Sometimes forgotten in memories of his inspiring personal struggle against illness and his reassuring television presence is the fact that Mel Goldstein was, above all, a serious researcher and scientist,” Schmotter said. “He brought his hunger for knowledge about weather prediction to a broad general audience, and his legacy will endure in the lives and careers he changed.”
For more information, contact the Office of University Relations at (203) 837-8486. To make a gift to the Dr. Mel Goldstein scholarship visit our online giving page.
Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.