MONY Tower, NY provides weather info

We can never have too many ways to check the weather. TV, radio, web, cell phone, weather station, ambient device, and sticking your head out the window are all tried and true. This city has a couple more options for you as well that are well... right above your head, if you can understand what they are saying.

Head to Columbus Circle, well look in that direction anyway and you will find the gigantic Biography billboard in lights promoting the Biography channel and corresponding series on A&E. Just beneath it you will find an old school light ticker that alternates between the time and temperature, short term forecast, and a plug for the next episode of Biography of course. This structure has been long standing though not always for Biography. Gothamist remembers this from days growing up when big signs and billboards were much more impressive and intriguing than they are now. We don't remember what companies were sponsoring this particular billboard though, we think we remember Hitachi as one... perhaps you readers can help?

And then there is the famous MONY Tower on Broadway. On top of this 25 story art deco building sits a vertical tower of lights, and on top of that, a colored star. When the lights on the tower are moving up, the temperature is rising. If they are moving down, the temperature is falling. No movement... well you get the idea. There is another MONY Tower located in Syracuse, NY with the same weather "forecaster" on top. A call to Mary Taylor, Vice President of Communications for The MONY Group confirmed that the following rhyme from The New Times Syracuse Guidebook: 1976 entitled "Weatherstar Rhyme" (how creative) accurately deciphers the meaning of the star's color.

Green light...weather bright. Orange on high...overcast sky. Orange flashing...raindrops splashing. Flickering white...snow in sight.

While reading up on this, we got a chuckle from someones comment in a newsgroup claiming the forecast was about as helpful as "hanging a rope out of your window". Interesting... interesting... Somewhere in the back of your head, we can feel you wondering... and yes it is. The tower itself was the inspiration for the original song "Mony Mony" by Tommy James and the Shondells (sorry youngsters... Billy Idol didn't write that song). Apparently, he was staying at a hotel in the city with a window facing the tower and was inspired. What is inspiring about a flashing sign? As we said... signs and billboards used to have much more intrigue.

Come on readers... what else you got? What other interesting locations offer weather info?

Big ups to Doug for tracking down the MONY people for that info and for shooting the photo for us.