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Pat Shingleton: "Forecasting Accomplishments"

7 years 10 months 1 week ago Friday, November 13 2015 Nov 13, 2015 November 13, 2015 4:30 AM November 13, 2015 in Pat Shingleton Column
By: Pat Shingleton

The 1800s were years of accomplishment in meteorological circles.  In 1842, Elias Loomis produces the first weather map of an 1836 storm.  Two years later, Samuel Morse perfects the telegraph, enabling transmission of weather observations.  In 1870, a National Weather Forecast Bureau officially begins, the word forecast is established and 22 sites begin observing weather for the Army Signal Corps.  Congress organizes the Weather Bureau in 1890; the name remains until 1967, when it's changed to the National Weather Service.  By 1891, the Secretary of Agriculture ordered detonation of explosives in the air for rain-making experiments.  At the end of the 1890s, data from balloons and kites provide the first soundings from the upper layers of the atmosphere, leading to the discovery of the stratosphere. In 1903, Orville Wright seeks the advice of the Weather Bureau before making his historic flight at Kitty Hawk, N.C. The following year, airplanes are used to collect atmospheric data. German engineer, Christain Hulsmeyer becomes the first to use radio waves to detect ships at sea to prevent collisions. In 1924, radar is born.  By 1927, the first "radio-wind-sounding device" or radiosonde is sent aloft by balloon, transmitting information from the atmosphere.  In 1928, the tele-type replaced the telegraph for weather communications.  Robert Watson uses experiments from the 1920s and invents radar that tracks aircraft.  In the 1940s, radar is used to track weather, and computers are tested for predictions. 1950 saw the first successful weather forecast by a computer.  Carl Gustav-Rossby discovered the global, high-altitude current of air known as the jet-stream.  By 1959, the United States launched the first satellite to send weather information back to Earth and the first weather surveillance radar was installed at the Miami Hurricane center.  In 1960, the first weather satellite equipped with a camera was placed in orbit by NASA, called Tiros I, seven years later the Weather Bureau changes its name to the National Weather Service.  Doppler weather radar was placed in operation in 1971 at the National Severe Storms Laboratories in Norman, OK, leading to the development of next-generation weather radar or NEXRAD. In 1973, the National Weather Service purchased its first Doppler Radar. In 1974, NASA launched the first prototype Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite. The orbiting satellite was designed to test advanced imaging in visible and infrared light technology.  In 1975, GOES-I is in orbit to monitor potentially severe weather conditions such as tornadoes, flash floods, hailstorms and hurricanes.  In 1976, the Viking spacecraft issues the first weather report from Mars indicating that the average atmospheric pressure was 1/100th of that on Earth.  The average summer temperature was -72 degrees F. with wind gusts of 42 mph.  During the winter on Mars, temperatures dropped to minus 171 Fahrenheit.  In 1992, Greenland ice cores provide evidence that climate change in the Ice Age went from warm to icy in a year.  In 1997, GOES-10 is positioned over the equator.  Finally, extraordinary coverage begins as yours truly forecasts for the first time in April, 1977!

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