A his­tory of weather fore­cast­ing tools

Popular Science - - FEATURES - By Rachel Felt­man

650 B.C. Clouds

Baby­lo­ni­ans were first to glean short-term weather changes in fluffy masses.

1400s Hy­grom­e­ter

The ear­li­est de­sign: weigh­ing sheep’s wool, which gets heav­ier in hu­mid­ity.

1592 Thermometer

Galileo re­al­ized that sub­stances ex­pand and con­tract with tem­per­a­ture change.

1643 Barom­e­ter

Tubes of mer­cury showed at­mo­spheric pres­sure shifts to pre­dict weather.

1860s WeatherOb­serv­ing Sta­tions

Co­or­di­nated mea­sure­ments net­ted bet­ter fore­casts.

1920s Ra­diosonde

Bal­loon-borne in­stru­ments be­gan to read high-al­ti­tude conditions.

1960 Weather Satel­lite

TIROS-1 sent the first pho­tos of chang­ing cloud pat­terns from space.

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