|1800: Moore's popular weather
almanac, Vox stellarum, sells 400,000 copies in the UK.
1802: Howard's classification of cloud types
1803: Herschell's Weather Table first appears, European Magazine, vol ix, p24
1804: Volney's "View of the Climate and Soil of the United States"
1805: Personal meteorological journal kept by Vice-Admiral Horatio, Viscount Nelson; Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean, from Tuesday 14 May until Sunday 20 Oct., the eve of the Battle of Trafalgar.
1806: Beaufort first develops his wind scale.
1809: Foster uses pilot balloons to monitor winds aloft.
1813: Martinique hurricane: >3,000 killed
1816: The year without a summer.
1823: Poisson develops the equations for the dry adiabatic process.
1823: The London Meteorological Society founded, soon to become inactive.
1825: Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico hurricane: about 1,300 killed
1825: August develops the psychrometer.
1826: Raphael's almanac first appears.
1828: Dove suggests "south winds ... flow upwards on the resisting cold air as on a mountain"
1829: Tornado at Guelph
1831: Barbados to Louisiana hurricane: > 1,500 killed
1831: Zadkiel's almanac first appears.
1831: Redfield publishes "Atlantic Storms" and "Hurricanes and Storms of the United States and West Indies," in the American Journal of Science.
1835: Espy develops a flawed theory of the moist adiabatic process.
1836: The London Meteorological Society revived under W. H. White as Secretary.
1838: Murphy's Almanac predicts 20 January as coldest day of the year in UK. It is coldest day of the century.
1838: Reid publishes "An Attempt to Develop the Law of Storms."
1838: Morse invents the telegraph
1839: Circulation of Moore's almanac peaks at 560,000
1839: Toronto meteorological observations commence.
1841: Loomis recognizes the vertical displacement of warm air by cold as a primary cause of mid-latitude precipitation. He draws the first weather map series showing the continuity of "fronts".
1843: Espy in the USA establishes a system of weather reports in the war department, which later developed into the signal service system.
1844: Death of John Dalton, who kept a weather diary for more than 50 years.
1845: Doxat publishes "The Meteorological Ephemeris" explaining weather variations as the result of the effects of the sun, moon and planets on the degree of electricity in the atmosphere.
1848: First publication of telegraphic weather observations by Glaisher in England.
1848: First edition of Piddington's "The Sailor's Horn-Book for the Law of Storms."
1849: The Smithsonian Institution establishes an extensive observation network in the USA with observations sent by telegraph.
1850: British Meteorological Society, forerunner of the Royal
Meteorological Society, founded 3rd April.
|At the start of the 19th century most people used the weather
almanac, and folklore weather
Many people recorded weather observations in their journals.
Almanac weather predictions were often based on astronomical theories. There was widespread belief in the influence of the moon on weather.
Science was developing an empirical understanding of the structure and movement of storms.
In the latter half of the century technology, notably the telegraph, was harnessed and weather warnings and forecasts issued nationally in several countries.
Observations were restricted to those that could be made from the surface. The surface weather map prevailed.
The old astronomical techniques were given a veneer of science under the guise of astro -meteorology.
Reliability problems limited the utility of science-based forecasts.
The development of techniques for sounding the three-dimensional structure of the atmosphere, and of the dynamical equations of fluid motion, came in the early 20th century.
James E. McDonald (1920 - 1971) a US university professor, was the first to clearly lay out and quantify the link between ozone layer depletion, increase in ultraviolet radiation and skin cancer. The link is to a paper published in the Congressional Record, Vol 117, No 39, S3484 - 3488, March 19, 1971, shortly before his death in June. McDonald is also notable for his views contrary to the official US government line on UFO events.
For an overview of the development of meteorology, as distinct from weather prediction, I recommend "A History of the Theories of Rain" by W. E. Knowles Middleton.
"The Weather Prophets: Science and Reputation in Victorian Meteorology" by Katharine Anderson, in History of Science, xxxvii (1999), 179-216
"Visions of the Future: Almanacs, Time and Cultural Change 1775-1870" by Maureen Perkins, 1996, published by Clarendon Press (particularly Chapter 6 "The Parent of a Hundred Superstitions")
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©1999-2003, John D. Reid