Category Archives: History
After a benevolent first week of April, we have really been brought back to reality as temperatures in Madison have been increasingly chillier since the monthly high of 79 was recorded on April 6.
April 14 was particularly chilly, with the high only getting to 40 under persistent clouds. It could be worse, however. Last Friday it snowed over southern New England — with totals as high as 9 inches in southern New Hampshire and widely greater than 2 inches in the northern suburbs of Boston. Continue reading
The technology that allows us to know the temperature, humidity and chance of precipitation on an hourly basis is something on which we’ve come to expect and rely. But ever wonder how the technology of predicting the weather came about?
UW-Madison professor Jonathan Martin, one of the writers of the State Journal’s “Ask the Weather Guys” column, answers that question in his new book “Reginald Sutcliffe and the Invention of Modern Weather Systems Science,” which came out March 15. He’ll be discussing the book during a virtual event through Mystery to Me bookstore later this month. Continue reading
Despite the fact that the presidential inauguration has moved from March 4 to Jan. 20 in the course of our history, on a number of occasions it has been strongly influenced by the weather.
Though many blamed the weather for sparking the fever that led to President William Henry Harrison’s death just 31 days into his term, this was almost certainly not the case. In fact, the noontime temperature on March 4, 1841, was 48 degrees with overcast skies and a stiff wind from the northwest. Continue reading
As we have opined a number of times before in this column, the development of numerical weather prediction (NWP) — the use of computers to mathematically produce weather forecasts — is one of the most unheralded scientific advances of the 20th century.
Coupled with the ubiquitous mobile phones we all use, this revolution has enabled us, at a glance, to get a sense of the coming weather days in advance. Continue reading