Weather Forecasting ... On-Line

Weather Relics


Relics of the Old Days

Over the past 75 years the weather business has evolved from a short-term extrapolation of current conditions to week-long, dynamically/statistically based forecasts. Our understanding of the atmosphere has evolved tremendously during this period. Our observation networks have expanded from surface observations, to radiosondes, to weather radar, to satellite imagery and data. It is interesting to look back material that was used in the past. The purpose of this webpage is to display some of these "weather relics" and allow current-day meteorologists a glimpse of the past.

Click the links below to display the relics shown:

  • Aviation Weather Report Code (1966)

  • Frontal Characteristics (1970)

  • General Characteristics of North America Air Masses in Summer (1954?)

  • Speed Descriptors (late 1960s)

  • Teletype Code (1957)


  • Historical References

    Fleming, James Rodger, 1996: Historical Essays on Meteorology, 1919-1995. American Meteorological Society, 617 pp.

    Harper, Kristine, C., 2008: Weather by the Numbers, The Genesis of Modern Meteorology. The MIT Press, 308 pp.

    Kutzback, Gisela, 1979: The Thermal Theory of Cyclones, A History of Meteorological Throught in the Nineteenth Century. Historical Monograph Series, American Meteorologicla Society, 255 pp.

    Lynch, Peter, 2006: The Emergence of Numerical Weather Prediction, Richardson's Dream. Cambridge University Press, 279 pp.

    Smith, Mike, 2010: Warnings, The True Story of How Science Tamed the Weather. Greenleaf Book Group Press, 286 pp.

    There are several historical summary volumes published by the American Meteorological Society that are dedicated to individuals who have made significant contributions to the science. These books are not included in these historical references.


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    last updated on 12/14/10