Saturday, 1 April 2017

The Weathermen, their story

The Weathermen, their story, is an absolutely riveting read by Gordon Tripp OBE, MA.

It relates how the arts ands science of weather watching and forecasting dates back at least two Millennia, with written records of weather dating back to the third century BCE,there is also evidence, reports Tripp, that the Babylonians were making efforts to both understand and predict the weather.

Cloud patterns were viewed as being of significance and weather lore began to develop when observers began to match what they could see to the weather that always seemed to follow them.

The Chinese, as one might expect, were also deeply involved with the study of the weather and putting into practice what they had learned.

The scientists of the Arab world were also keen to learn about the weather with people such as Ibn Wahshiyaa who began to predict weather based upon their observations of wind directions in about 900 CE, or 900AD as it is also known.

The book covers a variety of weather-related instruments that were developed by scientists such as Galileo and Torricelli.

We learn of Daniel Fahrenheit, of Celsius, and of the amazing work of John Dalton who kept a stunning amount of weather observations, 200,000 of them, over a period of 57 years.

In order to do this he had to design and make his own instruments to record temperature, air pressure, humidity and wind speed.

In America Benjamin Franklin was also keen on weather watching and recording.

We read of the pioneering, but often ignored due to commercial interests, of Admiral Fitzroy and of the importance of weather forecasting in maritime safety, and how wicked vested interests destroyed Admiral Fitzroy and his efforts to use weather forecasting to improve maritime safety.

The efforts of meteorologists to improve weather forecasting during World War 2 are covered as are later developments, including weather satellites and so forth.

It is a truly remarkable book and will make an excellent present for everyone who is interested in the weather.

It costs £7.99 and can be bought at the That's Book bookshop, here

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