Weather Machine is a lumino kinetic bronze sculpture and columnar machine that serves as a weather beacon, displaying a weather prediction each day at noon. Designed and constructed by Omen Design Group Inc., the approximately 30-foot-tall (9 m) sculpture was installed in 1988 in a corner of Pioneer Courthouse Square in Portland, Oregon, United States. Two thousand people attended its dedication, which was broadcast live nationally from the square by Today weatherman Willard Scott. The machine cost $60,000.
During its daily two-minute sequence, which includes a trumpet fanfare, mist, and flashing lights, the machine displays one of three metal symbols as a prediction of the weather for the following 24-hour period: a sun for clear and sunny weather, a blue heron for drizzle and transitional weather, or a dragon and mist for rainy or stormy weather. The sculpture includes two bronze wind scoops and displays the temperature via colored lights along its stem. The air quality index is also displayed by a light system below the stainless steel globe. Weather predictions are made based on information obtained by employees of Pioneer Courthouse Square from the National Weather Service and the Department of Environmental Quality. Considered a tourist attraction, Weather Machine has been called "bizarre", "playful", "unique", and "wacky", and has been compared to a giant scepter. (Full article...)