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History of meteorology
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  • 1. History of meteorology
  • 2. The word 'meteorology' was coined from a research book called 'Meteorologica' which was written by Aristotle, a Greek scientist and philosopher. This early work described the science of earth like its geology, elements, hydrology, seas, wind and weather. In the modern term, the term meteorology explains a complete science. It is for understanding the dynamics of atmosphere and forecasting weather phenomena like hurricanes and thunderstorms.
    Weather forecasting was practiced since the beginning of time with more or less accuracy. Historical records show several examples of weather predicting methods based on observing surrounding elements.
    Sky is undoubtedly the first indicator used in meteorology its cover and nature of clouds provides clues of the upcoming temperature and weather. The wind factor is also important and is associated with temperature and often rains. Animals and birds are also known to give indications about the future weather.
    Scientists across the world since ancient times have tried to understand the meteorological phenomena like wind and rain. Many instruments for measuring wind power, humidity and rain were invented in the early 15th century.
    During the 17th century, several discoveries tipped in favor of scientific meteorology. A device to measure temperature was invented by Galileo Galilei and the factor that atmospheric pressure was linked to altitude was discovered by Blaise Pascal. The invention of barometer by Evangelista Torricelli is significantly the most important discovery. It is still in use today which indicates atmospheric pressure changes that are linked with the future weather changes.
  • 3. There are also other methods which have been evolved. Meteorology is a lot related with cycles and their analysis which was what Fernando II de Medici wanted to prove. He carried out a very determined program in 1654 for recording weather patterns in different European cities with a view to compile data and make their analysis.
    Other breakthroughs were followed in the 18th century and science was taken to a new level. A modern mercury based thermometer was invented by Gabriel Fahrenheit. Theories about hydrodynamics were devised by Daniel Bernoulli and those theories had helped greatly in understanding the atmospheric changes.
    When the theory of thermodynamics and atmospheric pressures were adapted, no real changes were important for understanding meteorology. In recent times, focus has been given on meteorological tools for its improvement and attaining better accuracy results. A tremendous boost was given to meteorology because of the technology in two ways. The first is the ability to communicate results and analysis with timing, it was made possible due to the invention of telegraph. The second is the ability of probing skies with using balloons, satellites and radars.
    Meteorology is a part of our everyday lives. People are kept updated about the changing weather with dedicated channels and mobile devices. The science is still progressing and is an important element of the economy with many industries like agriculture and civil aviation depending on it.
  • 4.
    • In Bible times the forecasting of weather conditions was based solely upon observations of the sky. This is alluded to in the Bible book of Matthew where Jesus says to the religious leaders of the 1st Century, "˜You are able to interpret the appearance of the sky but the sign of the times you cannot interpret.' This method of simple observation prevailed until 1643 when Italian physicist Evangelista Torricelli invented the barometer. This simple device was able to measure the pressure of the air. Torricelli noticed that air pressure changes in accordance with changes in the weather. In fact a drop in pressure would often signal that a storm was coming. Atmospheric humidity was also able to be measured when the hygrometer was invented in 1644. Then in 1714 German physicist Daniel Fahrenheit developed the mercury thermometer. It was now possible to accurately measure the weather.
    • In the mid 1800s there was still no quick way of transferring weather data from one location to the next. Often the weather that was being warned about would arrive before the data did. That was until Samuel Morse invented his electric telegraph to allow speedy transference of information. Morse's invention now made it possible for the Paris Observatory to begin publishing the first modern weather maps. By 1872, Britain's Meteorological Office had followed suit. From then on the acquiring of weather data became more and more complex, as did the resulting meteorological maps. New graphic devices were developed to convey more information. Isobars, for example, were invented - lines drawn to link points that have the same barometric pressure. Isotherms connect locations that have the same temperature. Other graphic devices were also developed - symbols to show wind direction and force, as well as lines that depict the meeting of warm and cold air masses.
    In the 20th century much sophisticated meteorological equipment has also been developed. Today, weather stations release balloons that carry what are called radiosondes. These are instruments that can measure atmospheric conditions and then radio the information back to the station. Of course, weather stations today also use radar. In 1960 the world's first weather satellite, TIROS 1 was sent into space equipped with a TV camera. Today, weather satellites orbit the earth from pole to pole. Geostationary satellites stay in a fixed position above the earth and constantly monitor one part of the globe.
  • 5. The forecasting of the weather took a leap forward when, shortly after World War One, British meteorologist Lewis Richardson stated that since the atmosphere follows the laws of physics, it is possible to use mathematical calculations to predict future weather conditions. His formulas, however, were so complicated that the weather would be upon him before he could figure out what it would be. His calculations also only allowed for weather readings taken at six hourly intervals. However, with the advent of computers, it became possible to work out Richardson's lengthy calculations quickly. A complex numerical weather model was now established that incorporated all the known physical laws governing the weather. The equations are utilized in the following way: meteorologists divide the earth's surface into a grid with grid points spaced 80 kilometers apart. The atmosphere above each square is called a box and observations of atmospheric wind, air pressure, temperature and humidity are recorded at 20 different levels of altitude. A computer than analyzes the data received from the more than 3,500 observation stations around the world and produces a forecast of what the world's weather will be for the next 15 minutes. Then a forecast for the next 15 minutes is produced. Repeating this process a computer can produce a six day world forecast in just 15 minutes.
  • 6. meteorologist
  • 7.
    • Meteorologists are scientists who study meteorology.[51] Meteorologists work in government agencies, private consulting and research services, industrial enterprises, utilities, radio and television stations, and in education. In the United States, meteorologists held about 9,400 jobs in 2009.[52]
    Meteorologists are best-known for forecasting the weather. Many radio and television weather forecasters are professional meteorologists, while others are merely reporters with no formal meteorological training. The American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association issue "Seals of Approval" to weather broadcasters who meet certain requirements.
  • 8. John Dalton
    • John Dalton was a British weather pioneer. Born on the 6th of September in 1766, he was most famous for his scientific opinion that all matter is actually made up of small particles. Today, we know those particles are atoms. But, he was also fascinated by the weather each day. In 1787, he used homemade instruments to start recording weather observations.
    Although the instruments he used were primitive, Dalton was able to create a large amount of data. Much of what Dalton did with his meteorological instruments helped to make the forecasting of weather into an actual science. When weather forecasters of today talk about the earliest existing weather records in the UK, they are generally referring to Dalton’s records.
    Through the instruments he created, John Dalton could study humidity, temperature, atmospheric pressure, and wind. He maintained these records for 57 years, until his death. Throughout those years, over 200,000 meteorological values were recorded. The interest that he had in weather moved into an interest in the gases that made up the atmosphere. In 1803 Dalton’s Law was created, and it dealt with his work in the area of partial pressures.
    The greatest achievement for Dalton was his formulation of the atomic theory. He was preoccupied with the atmospheric gases, however, and the atomic theory formulation came about almost inadvertently. Originally, Dalton was trying to explain why gases stay mixed, instead of settling out in layers in the atmosphere. Atomic weights were basically an afterthought in a paper he presented, and he was encouraged to study them further
  • 9. William Morris Davis
    Noted meteorologist William Morris Davis was born in 1850 and died in 1934. He was a geographer and a geologist with a deep passion for nature. He was often called the ‘father of American geography.’ Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a Quaker family, he grew up and attended Harvard University. In 1869 he received his Master of Engineering degree.Davis studied meteorological phenomena along with geological and geographical issues. This made his work much more valuable in that he could tie in one object of study to others. By doing this, he was able to show the correlation between the meteorological happenings that took place and the geological and geographical issues that were affected by them. This provided those that followed his work with much more information than otherwise available.
    While Davis was a meteorologist, he studied many other aspects of nature as well, and therefore addressed meteorological issues from the standpoint of an overall nature perspective. He became an instructor at Harvard teaching geology. In 1884, he created his cycle of erosion which showed the way rivers create landforms. In his day, the cycle was critical, but today it is seen as too simplistic.
    When he created this cycle of erosion, Davis showed the different sections of rivers and how they are formed, along with the landforms that come with each one. Also important to the issue of erosion is precipitation, because this contributes to runoff, rivers, and other bodies of water.
    Davis, who was married three times during his life, was also very involved with the National Geographic Society and wrote many articles for its magazine. He also helped found the Association of American Geographers in 1904. Staying busy with science took up most of his life, and he passed away in California at the age of 83.
  • 10. Gabriel Fahrenheit
    Most people know this man’s name from an early age, because learning to tell temperature requires learning about him. Even young children know that temperature in the United States (and in parts of the UK) is expressed in the Fahrenheit scale. In other countries in Europe, however, the Celsius scale is used. This has changed, because the Fahrenheit scale was used throughout Europe many years ago.Gabriel Fahrenheit was born in May of 1686 and passed away in September of 1736. He was a German engineer and physicist, and most of his life was spent working within the Dutch Republic. While Fahrenheit was born in Poland, his family originated in Rostock and Hildesheim. Gabriel was the eldest of the five Fahrenheit children that survived into adulthood.
    Fahrenheit’s parents passed away at an early age, and Gabriel had to learn to make money and survive. He went through business training and became a merchant in Amsterdam. He had a lot of interest in the natural sciences so he started studying and experimenting in his spare time. He also traveled around a great deal, and finally settled in The Hague. There, he worked as a glassblower, making altimeters, thermometers, and barometers.
    In addition to giving lectures in Amsterdam on the subject of Chemistry, Fahrenheit continued to work on developing meteorological instruments. He is credited for creating very precise thermometers. The first ones used alcohol. Later, he used mercury due to superior results.
  • 11. Anders Celsius
    Anders Celsius was born in November of 1701 and passed away in April of 1744. Born in Sweden, he worked as a professor at Uppsala University. During that time he also traveled a great deal, visiting observatories in Italy, Germany, and France. Although he was most noted for being an astronomer, he also made an extremely important contribution to the field of meteorology.In 1733, Celsius published a collection of aurora borealis observations that were made by himself and others. In 1742, he proposed his Celsius Temperature Scale to the Swedish Academy of Sciences. Originally, it had the boiling point of water at 0 degrees and the freezing point at 100 degrees.
    In 1745, the Celsius scale was reversed by Carolus Linnaeus. Despite this, however, the scale retains Celsius’ name. He performed many careful and specific experiments with temperature, and was looking to create scientific grounds for a temperature scale on an international level. In order to advocate for this, he showed that the freezing point of water remained the same regardless of atmospheric pressure and latitude.
  • 12. Alfred Wegener
    Famous meteorologist and interdisciplinary scientist Alfred Wegener was born in Berlin, Germany in November of 1880 and passed away in Greenland in November of 1930. He was most famous for his theory of Continental Drift. Early in his life, he studied astronomy and received his Ph.D. in this field from the University of Berlin in 1904. Eventually, however, he became fascinated by meteorology, which was a relatively new field at that time.Wegener was a record-holding balloonist and married the daughter of another famous meteorologist, Wladimir Peter Köppen. Because he was so interested in balloons, he created the first balloons that were used to track weather and air masses. He lectured on meteorology quite often, and eventually these lectures were compiled into a book. Called The Thermodynamics of the Atmosphere, it became a standard textbook for meteorological students.
    In order to better study the circulation of polar air, Wegener was part of several expeditions that went to Greenland. At that time, he was trying to prove that the jet stream actually existed. Whether it was real or not was a highly controversial topic at the time. He and a companion went missing in November of 1930 on a Greenland expedition. Wegener’s body was not found until May of 1931.
  • 13. Weather instruments
  • 14. Anemometer – measures the speed or force of the wind. The speed that the cups rotate shows the wind strength.
    Barometer is a weather instrument that is used to determine the atmospheric pressure. As the air pressure either rises or falls, it is an indication of some type of weather change. Therefore, the barometer is an essential weather prediction device.A water barometer, in its basic form, holds a container, usually made of glass, that is filled half-way, with water. The top of this container tube is open to the air or atmosphere. A small diameter tube is connected to the bottom of the water containing glass tube. As the atmospheric pressure rises or falls, the water within the glass tube moves in relation to that pressure. Measuring marks are sometimes placed in the water tube to determine where the water stands at any particular time.
  • 15. Weather maps are more than just a map with a bunch of funny lines and characters on them. They are very sophisticated and high tech weather instruments that have a number of purposes. Without them, weather forecasting would be very difficulty and the educational process that they provide would be non-existent.
    One type of hygrometer that measures relative humidity is called a psychometer. This instrument is made from two separate thermometers. One thermometer bulb is placed in a quantity of water while the other bulb is held in the air, untouched by the water. A temperature reading is taken from each of these thermometers and the difference between them is the "relative humidity." The process is, in actuality, not as simple as this but this is a basic example furnished so that the reader will have some idea of how the psychrometer actually works.
  • 16. A compass is, in more contemporary terms, a device that is sensitive to magnetic waves and has the capability of accurately determining magnetic north. Most compasses have each of the primary directions north, south, east and west, printed on their face. Though their primary purpose is navigation, we can also use the compass for other reasons, such as weather watching and forecasting.
    A weathervane, to most people, is simply an instrument that tells them which direction the wind is blowing. That is, of course, it's main purpose and any would-be weather forecaster would certainly need to have one in his or her array of weather instruments. It is an essential tool for observing and predicting weather patterns. However, the flare with which this simple task is completed is the line that separates the plain from the ornate.
  • 17. An essential piece of equipment to be found in even the most basic of weather buff's tool kit is the simple rain gauge. Rain gauges come in all different sizes and styles.No weather watcher worth his salt would be caught dead without an accurate rain measuring device.Not just any container qualifies as a rain gauge. The measurements have to be determined by how much water over a specified area makes a certain depth of rain within that container, in inches or centimeters. For metric measurements, the container must be a different size from the common "inches" measurements.
    In a psychrometer, there are two thermometers, one with a dry bulb and the other with a wet bulb. Evaporation from the wet bulb lowers the temperature, so that the wet-bulb thermometer usually shows a lower temperature than that of the dry-bulb thermometer, which measures dry-bulb temperature. When the air tem
  • 18. There are various types of sondes used to collect weather information. Not surprisingly each sonde will be modified to gather whatever information particular scientists or communities of researchers would like to analyze. The means by which each sort of sonde is lifted into the atmosphere is often where each variation of sonde gets its title but not always. In most cases, the designation of the sonde type gives a clue as to how it is utilized.
    Wireless weather instruments are found either as separate instruments or in many cases, in complete home weather station units. These scientific gadgets are used for forecasting weather and making independent determinations of atmospheric pressure, temperatures, humidity readings, wind speeds and weather changes. No longer is the layman dependent entirely on the professional weather forecasters from the local or even national media. For a nominal price, any weather forecaster wannabe can put together an impressive array of wireless weather tools to use at their own discretion.
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