Longtime TV weatherman John Coleman retiring

SAN DIEGO - Longtime KUSI weatherman John Coleman is retiring, the station announced Thursday.

KUSI said the 79-year-old Coleman would be stepping down immediately. He has spent the past two decades at the independent station and has been a broadcaster since 1953.

The west Texas native is best known for his drawn-out and often-imitated pronunciations of "KUUUUUSI" and "the breeeeeeeeeze!" as well as for "SO-SA" (Sort of Santa Ana) -- for when a light offshore flow brings pleasant conditions -- and being "giddy" at the end of the work week on Friday nights.

On Thursday, Coleman was attending the Tropical Weather Conference in South Padre Island, Texas, where he made a presentation of some of his earliest television broadcasts.

He was the first weatherman for "Good Morning America" on ABC and founded The Weather Channel in the 1980s. He has also been politically active over the years as a booster of H. Ross Perot's Reform Party in the 1990s and a critic of the science behind global warming.

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