Segments in this Video

Prehistoric Weather (12:36)


Prehistoric people paid close attention to nature to notice signals that indicated coming weather; early civilizations believed weather was linked to the will of the gods. In Athens, the world's first weather station was built by scientists and religious people, and they called it the Tower of the Winds. Gabriel Fahrenheit created a scale to measure temperature.

Weather of the Founding Fathers (10:10)

Native Americans had traditional ceremonies about the weather, most of which were meant to cause rain. Robert Thomas created the magazine "The Old Farmer's Almanac," which included forecasts based on the eleven-year cycle of sunspot activity observed by Leonardo DaVinci. Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod, after proving lightning was a form of electricity.

Early Meteorology (09:22)

The telegraph was a major innovation in the field of weather prediction and reporting. Joseph Henry was the director of America's first scientific national weather network. Weather balloons had radio transmitters attached to them called radiosondes delivering real-time readings of the atmosphere which helped predict the weather.

Storm Chasing (07:47)

Doppler Weather Radar allows meteorologists to determine when and where new storms will be formed through atmospheric signals; this system can follow the movement of storm elements and measure wind direction and velocity. Storm chasers go out into dangerous storms, typically in Tornado Alley, to further study and understand severe weather. The Television Infrared Observation Satellite was the world's first weather satellite.

Weathermen (08:57)

The United States has 118 Doppler weather radar stations, which meteorologists can analyze and also utilize the visual displays in their local forecasts. Weather data, which is gathered from numerous sources, is used to develop computer models of what the weather is doing, mostly by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Credits: Weather Predictions (00:23)

Credits: Weather Predictions

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Modern Marvels: Weather Predictions

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A study of the discoveries, inventions, and technological advances that have helped us understand and predict weather accurately.

Length: 50 minutes

Item#: BVL160900

Copyright date: ©1998

Closed Captioned

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