A Look at the History of Weather with Technology

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By Bradley Rotatori on May 10, 2013, 9:31am Last modified: May 11, 2013, 8:33am

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From the simple days of looking up at the sky (which, even with all this technology, this still needs to be done!) to simple weather thermometers, barometers, collecting rain in jars and measuring, to early radar and satellite, I can safely say we have come along way with forecasting weather. In fact, weather reporting has become much more accurate over the years, thanks not only to technology and computers, but easy and fast communication. However, before we get to that, lets talk about the earliest computer that predicted weather.

Some of you may be familiar with, ENAIC. Long after some of the first systematic weather forecasts which date back to 1644, according to NOAA, (National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration) ENAIC (electronic numerical and integrator and computer) became one of the greatest triumphs of mankind. Per a page on weathernotebook.org, a single daily forecast required around 25000 punchcards. I am certainly thankful for internal memory which this computer did not have! Though of course the time it took to determine the forecast was, well, 24 hours, it was a fantastic sign of progress into weather computing.

Later on weather balloons with radiosondes measure atmospheric conditions like pressure, temperature, and humidity, and transmitted the information to a receiver at the ground. In addition, the first aircraft to make observations on a hurricane occurred on July 17, 1943 at 5,000 feet. Farther on in history, the first weather satellite on april 1, 1960, simultaneously with the development of weather radar. NOAA, mentioned earlier, uses the technologies to this day.

With all these new developments, you could safely say weather forecasting couldn't get even better, right? WRONG! With the development of the internet, weather enthusiasts and forecasters, can share information with others at an instant, compare almanacs, current conditions, and share images and video of storm damage, charts, graphs, radar, etc. Without all these advancements, weather forecasting could not have gotten easier and more accurate for the professionals behind the desk at the weather and news stations. I can say with these what seem to be technological wonders, the general public is safer as well, being able to be warned at an instant of hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes etc. So, next time you look at your computer, remember they do a lot more than check email and socialize, they do much more than even the weather!

 

SOURCES:

 

http://www.weathernotebook.org/transcripts/2000/03/02.html

http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/foundations/weather_obs/

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Bradley Rotatori

Town: Naugatuck, CT  

Reporting for WXedge since April 2012.

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