Pat Shingleton: Washington Weather
It's President's Day, formerly Washington's Day, recognizing the birthday of our first president in 1732. A review of weather excerpts from his diaries indicates that Washington wasn't a scientific weather observer, as was Thomas Jefferson. His weather interests mirrored his agricultural interests. In writing to his farm manager, William Pearce, on December 22, 1793, he noted the importance of a thermometer at Mount Vernon. His diary notes weather difficulties, including his seasick days during a stormy voyage to Barbados and the cruel winter at Valley Forge. An ill-advised horseback ride during a December storm contributed to his death. His prized weather instrument was the weather vane, remaining in use atop the cupola at Mount Vernon.