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History of forecasting the weather

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  1. Introduction
  2. The ancient world
    1. Greece
    2. China
  3. The medieval period
    1. Europe
    2. West Asia
    3. Far east
  4. The modern world
    1. European renaissance
    2. United States of America
  5. Developments in the 20th Century
  6. Conclusion
  7. References

Weather refers to the state of air on earth at a given place and time, and climate is the pattern of weather that forms and one expects at a particular place at a given time. The weather or climate of a place usually identifies as warm or cold, wet or dry, cloudy or clear, or windy.The weather of a place always has a considerable impact on the way of life, the culture, and the mores of the populace of the place. The impact of weather on the civilizations of the ancient world was even greater for their livelihood, prosperity and often their very existence depended on favorable weather conditions that would give them access to freshwater, enable them to grow their crops and set out for voyages of commerce. For this reason, humanity has tried to forecast the weather since ancient times, and people held in high esteem those who could apparently control the weather

[...] CONCLUSION The science of weather forecasting is still not foolproof in spite of all the technological strides achieved by man. However, scientists have made marked improvements in forecast over the years. In the 1970's, three-day forecasts of Atlantic storm positions erred by an average of 440 miles (130 kilometers), which reduced to 173 miles (280 kilometers) by 2005 C.E . However, predicting storm intensity, especially sudden intensity changes is still difficult. Forecasts of three-day wind-speed has remained in error by an average of 23 miles an hour (37 kilometers an hour) since the early 1990s, with no marked improvements till date. [...]


[...] The development of aviation however necessitated more information of weather on the upper altitudes. In 1924 C.E., Colonel William Blaire in the U.S. Signal Corps did primitive experiments with weather measurements from a balloon. He tried to ascertain the temperatures using radio circuits. The invention of the Radiosonde by Robert Bureau of France in 1929 C.E. was a landmark achievement because this made available precise knowledge of weather conditions at higher altitudes. Radiosondes are small lightweight boxes equipped with weather instruments and a radio transmitter. [...]


[...] This is one of the most significant works on weather forecasting ever written. Bin Wahishih discusses the changes in the atmosphere brought about by the planetary astral alterations, and the intensity and patterns of cloud formation and rainfall based on observation of the lunar phases and movement of winds. Ibn al-Haytham or Alhazen, the 11th Century Iraqi scientist explained the cause of morning and evening twilight, the meteorology of the rainbow and the density of the atmosphere. His students, Qutubuddin Shirazi and Kamaludeen Farisi discovered the scientific principle of rainbows. [...]

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