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Stories and tales of the weather service technology tales

Barometers, thermometers, the occasional hygrometer, an wheel barometeranemometer, and a rain gauge were once all the tools a meteorologist required. Things have changed. Data and images from remote sensing systems such as instrumented balloons, radars, and satellites are now part of the array of tools that weather watchers use; computers to process and model atmospheric processes and make predictions from the vast array of data collected by the National network of observers and observation systems; internal communications systems to bring the data to processing computers and then send the processed information in the form of forecasts, maps, and even three-dimensional models back to weather information users and researchers; and mass media interfaces to bring the weather to television, radio, and the Internet. Follow the technology tales of the Weather Service and learn a little about how these systems evolved, what it was like to observe the weather and obtain weather information 50 or 100 years ago. The overall concept hasn’t changed, but the rate at which data is collected and processed, the quality of the data, and the rates at which critical information can be transferred to the public and private interests has increased by quantum leaps over the years. Join the National Weather Service as it has worked through the years to make us all safer from the whims of nature.

map of florida showing project site

Thunderstorm Research Project

The Weather Bureau during 1945 initiated a project for study of the development and structure of individual thunderstorm cells.
picture of aircraft
Thunderstorm Project Begins Observations
Description of the project which begun in Orlando, Florida in 1945.
aircraft picture
Thunderstorm Project Goes Into Winter Quarters
Further work in the project is described.
musical notes
Song of Thunderstorm Project Wives
Song by
Mrs. Ben Shupack - wife of one of the weathermen working on the project.
Meteorological Rocket Under Experiment
Early experimentation using rocket technology for meterological work is described.
picture of early radio
Wireless Seen as Coming Thing
Early news clipping from 1915 about the use of radio for forecast distribution.
working women circa 1940's
Weather Broadcasting in Winston Salem
The early radio broadcasts of Mr. Wiley K. Sims and his all-girl Weather Bureau in Winston-Salem, N.C., is described.
picture of telephone
40,000 Calls a Day
The tremendous volumes of phone calls in New York for the weather reports of the 1940's, is described.
man with early kite
Kite Stations Not Many Years Ago
Reminiscenses of kite station work.
man with early box kite
Fifteen Years of Kite Work
Reminiscenses of kite station work.

Publication of the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), NOAA Central Library.

Last Updated: June 8, 2006 9:24 AM

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