In the Beginning


The Weather Experiment by Moore, PeterA couple of weeks ago I read a short book review in the New Yorker of Peter Moore's latest book the, The Weather Experiment. It's about 19th Century England and the birth of the science of meteorology. As a former Air Force meteorologist this was bound to catch my attention.

Early Tools, Handy Today

Two men in particular made discoveries and created systems which are still relevant today. In fact when I went through weather school at Chanute AFB we used instruments and concepts first devised by Francis Beaufort and Robert Fitzroy. If you don't have any weather instruments handy, the Beaufort Wind Scale is still quite serviceable, and we still spent months memorizing the 27 States of Sky.

The Forecast

Robert Fitzroy set up the first nationwide network of weather observers who would regularly telegraph their data to a central office in London from which the first weather warnings and forecats were issued. 100 years later, Air Force weather observers were doing a similar task using teletype. The advent of small powerful computers and remote sensing devices have changed the world of meteorology in recent years.

I still keep in touch my some of my fellow meteorology veterans and we're glad we were able to catch a glimpse of the "Golden Age".


Author Bio:

Joe Toschik is a Public Services Librarian at Half Moon Bay Library who still refers to the National Weather Service Bay Area weather data on a daily basis.

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