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Dr. Isaac M. Cline began his career at the close of the pioneering period in American meteorology, and through more than five decades as a public servant and student he exhibited pioneering traits. A man of action, he tackled every problem with undaunted courage and zeal, trusting a keen intuitive judgment that usually brought success.

Cline's most important work of publication grew out of his personal experiences with tropical hurricanes and associated tidal phenomena. He discovered and proved in actual use the predictive value of tide readings as an aid to hurricane forecasting on our southern coasts; this subject he developed and documented in his book on "Tropical Cyclones." In the field of river forecasting, Cline was a bold and successful worker; his predictions for the lower Mississippi received the widest acclaim, and their worth probably equaled the high value of his weather and storm forecasts.

At the age of 81 Dr. Cline pursues a busy life of varied intellectual interests, freed since 1935 from official demands, by retirement from the Weather Bureau. -- W. F. McDonald.


Dr. Isaac M. Cline was retired at the termination of December 31, 1935, after a service of about 53 1/2 years. He was born at Madisonville, Tenn., on October 13, 1861, and enlisted in the Signal Corps on July 7, 1882. After the usual period of instruction at Fort Myer, Va., he was transferred to Pittsburgh as assistant, serving as assistant also at Little Rock and Fort Smith, respectively. He later served as official in charge at Fort Concho (Tex.), Little Rock, Abilene, Galveston, and New Orleans, in the order named. His service at Galveston covered a period of about 12 years (1889-1901), and that at New Orleans 34 years (1902-1935) as district forecaster for the New Orleans district and section director for the State of Louisiana.

Dr. Cline's service is especially noteworthy in connection with his hurricane-warning and river and flood work. Among the outstanding incidents are his detail to Mexico City and other points in Mexico during the Spanish-American War (1898-99) for the purpose of establishing special meteorological stations in Mexico in connection with the hurricane-warning service of the U.S. Weather Bureau and arranging for the exchange of meteorological reports with the Mexican Meteorological Service; also his services during the Galveston hurricane of September 8, 1900, in which connection he was officially commended for his "heroic devotion to duty", and the New Orleans hurricane of September 29, 1915. Among his more recent achievements was his splendid work during the great flood of 1927 throughout the Mississippi Valley, for which he was formally commended by the Secretaries of Agriculture and Commerce.

Dr. Cline is author of numerous meteorological papers, among them being those on "Relation of Climate and Weather Changes to Diseases and Deaths", "Relations of the Climatic Conditions of Texas to its Agricultural Interests", "Summer Hot Winds on the Great Plains", "Temperature Conditions at New Orleans as Influenced by Subsurface Drainage", "Relation of Changes in Storm Tides on the Coast of the Gulf of Mexico to the Center and Movement of Hurricanes", etc. His book on "Tropical Cyclones" is regarded as a valuable contribution to the literature on the subject.

He is a member of the American Meteorological Society, having served as president during 1934-35, the American Geophysical Union, and the New Orleans Academy of Science.

Dr. Cline received his A.B. and A.M. degrees for Hiwassee College in 1882 and 1885, respectively, hi M.D. degree for the University of Arkansas in 1885, and Ph.D. degree from Texas Christian Univeristy in 1896. In 1934 an honorary degree of D.Sc. was conferred upon him by Tulane University of Louisiana.


[Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 26, June, 1945. P. 240.]
[Weather Bureau Topics and Personnel, December 1935]

 



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