Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weather Again!

Since I have been experiencing cold weather on my journey across America and today I have a little down time, I did a little research.

I’ve learned that daily weather knowledge is relatively new to humankind.

Aristotle was the first person to write a comprehensive book on the weather. It remained the standard work for nearly 2000 years. People just didn't do much scientific thinking about the clouds and the winds.

There weren't any significant changes until the invention of scientific instruments: Leonardo da Vinci's wind vane in 1500, Galileo's thermometer in 1593, The first weather map wasn't even drawn until 1820.

When I first started in broadcasting I did the evening weather on a local television station. I didn’t know a thing about weather. The Associated Press would send out a national weather map and I would copy it on a big map outline of the United States. I used pieces of colored tape to create frontal systems and large discs with H’s and L’s on them for high pressure and low-pressure systems. Very primitive.

Today we have meteorologists to expertly predict and explain the weather. We like to think we're pretty advanced. We've had weather satellites in orbit since 1959. There is a nationwide system of automatic weather monitoring stations that feeds information directly to a central computer. All very sophisticated.

Some people take weather forecasting a bit further. The Germans have "biometeorological advisories." Weather forecasters explain how the weather will affect people. What it does to their emotions, their health, even their ability to work safely.

German doctors can receive a daily coded report from the weather service. It warns them of the types of ills the weather is likely to cause. It seems they have determined that cold fronts increase the number of coronaries, migraines and gall bladder attacks. Cloudiness, warm fronts and heat lightening seem to cause more work related mistakes.

The weather even alters how quickly we heal. So it is not unusual for German surgeons to schedule operations for sunny days.

I wonder when they play golf.

1 comment:

Topher08 said...

You probably did as good with the weather then as they do now with all of the "technology" at the fingertips of the meteorologist today.

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