Forecast: Overlord -- 1994 Local 4 special explores meteorological planning for D-Day

Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944, marked the turning point of World War II, and the weather aspect of this story not only is fascinating, but was untold at that time.

This week we commemorate the 77th anniversary of World War II’s Operation Overlord, otherwise known as D-Day.

The Allied invasion of the Nazi-held French coast at Normandy is widely regarded as one of the most important military operations in history. But the story of how a small band of meteorologists played a decisive role in the invasion's planning went largely untold for decades.

For the 50th anniversary of D-Day, I produced this documentary, "Forecast: Overlord," hosted by Chuck Gaidica. "Forecast: Overlord" first aired on Local 4 on June 6, 1994.

This project was a true labor of love. For three and a half years, traveled the country, interviewing D-Day invasion meteorologists, D-Day veterans, and even the late Walter Cronkite -- who covered the assault on Normandy for CBS radio from a bomber overhead. I also tracked down declassified military documents about the invasion, which provided a great deal of insight.

This program provides unique look into a critical part of the D-Day story that most people have never heard about. Our research for the program was deemed historically significant enough to become part of the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library's D-Day archive, the British Meteorological Archives, and the Museums of Television and Radio History in New York and Chicago.

I’m please we’re able to again share “Forecast: Overlord,” to honor the men who were so instrumental in the liberation of Europe that began 70 years ago Friday.

About the Author:

Local 4 meteorologist Paul Gross was born in Detroit and has spent his entire life and career right here in southeast Michigan. Paul has researched, written and produced eight half-hour documentaries for WDIV, as well as many science, historical and environmental stories.