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Mr. Edward Hall Bowie, Principal Meteorologist and Regional Director of the Weather Bureau at San Francisco, died July 29 at his home in Berkeley, Calif., after a brief illness. During his earlier years in the Weather Bureau he specialized in forecasting and devoted many years to the development and improvement of weather forecasting technique, until he became the foremost forecaster of the Bureau, serving for many years as its supervising forecaster at the Washington office.

He was born in Annapolis Junction, Md., on March 29, 1874, and attended St. John's College, Annapolis, Md., which later conferred upon him the degree of Master of Science. He entered the service of the U.S. Weather Bureau in December 1891 when the Bureau was just organized as a service in the Department of Agriculture by transfer of the meteorological service from the Signal Corps, U.S. Army. His first service was as assistant observer in meteorology at Memphis, Tenn. Thereafter he served at Montgomery, Ala., Dubuque, Iowa, Galveston, Tex., St. Louis, Mo., Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, Calif., being successively promoted in grades. He had the longest record of service of anyone in the Bureau.

Major Bowie has made valuable contributions to the literature on weather forecasting, publishing in the Monthly Weather Review in 1906 an article on the "Method for Predicting Movements of Cyclones"; also, senior author of "Types of Storms of the United States" and "Types of Anticyclones of the United States" and further "The Formation and Movement of West Indian Hurricanes," 1922. He was a member of the board of editors of the "Weather Forecasting in the United States," 1916.

His accomplishments in the field of forecasting in the United States attracted attention and became well known internationally. At the beginning of World War I he was commissioned as Major in the Signal Corps, U.S. Army, September 8, 1917, and went overseas in charge of the general forecast work for the American Expeditionary Forces in France. He returned to the Weather Bureau on November 30, 1918, for forecasting assignment in charge of the Washington, D.C., forecast district.

In 1924 Major Bowie was transferred in charge of the district forecast center of the Weather Bureau at San Francisco, Calif., where was centered increasingly important weather service on the Pacific coast. In 1936 he conducted a survey of the situation with regard to weather reports in the Pacific area and visited the meteorological services of the Far East for the purpose of improving meteorological service in the interest of ocean navigation. Later he was designated as the Weather Bureau representative at the Wellington Conference of the Southwest Pacific Commission of the International Meteorological Organization. These trips resulted in important improvements in ocean meteorology.

He was an exacting and efficient administrator and a gentleman with a charm of personality; he always inspired confidence in the Weather Bureau service and gained and held the good will of the public and interests served. His long career to its close comprehended conscientious and continuous devotion to the Weather Bureau and public service.

Born March 29, 1874, near Bowie, Maryland; attended St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland; entered the Weather Bureau in December, 1891; died July 29, 1943, at Berkeley, California.

He pursued with enthusiasm the career of a meteorologist for more than fifty years. In the organization of the Meteorological Section of the American Geophysical Union, he was quite active. He took a leading part, during World War I, in organizing a meteorological service for the A.E. F., and at the time of his death was president of the American Meteorological Society of which he was a charter member.

The interest he developed in forecasting induced him to do a prodigious amount of reading in that and related fields. Few have studied weather maps with greater assiduity and understanding. As a result, he made many practical and important contributions to our knowledge of making both short-range and extended forecasts.

Progressive and quick to make decisions, his alert mind and broad vision, bulwarked by an unusual background of meteorological experience, caused his opinions to be much sought. -- R. H. Weightman.

[Weather Bureau Topics and Personnel, August 1943]
[Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, Volume 26, June, 1945. P. 243.]


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Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:27 AM

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