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
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.
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
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 the American Meteorological Society, Volume 26, June, 1945.
Bureau Topics and Personnel, December 1935]