National Geographic : 1905 Jun
VOL. XVI, No. 6 WASHINGTON JUNE, 1905 THLE SATONA FORECASTING THE WEATHER AND STORMS* BY PROFESSOR WILLIS L. MOORE, LL. D., CHIEF UNITED STATES WEATHER BUREAU AND PRESIDENT NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY THE author would urge all intel ligent persons to abandon the idea that the weather map is an enigma too difficult for them to solve. To one who will read this chapter once or twice, and carefully follow the charts as they at successive steps illustrate and make clear the text, the daily weather chart will be an object of interest as well as pleasure and profit. Sometimes the problems presented by the map are so simple that one possessed of the most elementary knowledge of its con struction can accurately forecast the character of the coming weather; and again, the most expert forecaster is un able to clearly foresee the impending changes. Weather maps differ as much as do the members of the human family; no two are precisely alike, although they may be similar in their fundamental charac teristics. Some are so radically dissim ilar to others that it requires but a glance to learn that similar weather cannot follow both. Weather forecast ing may be fairly placed upon a plane with the theory and practice of medi cine. The forecaster is in a degree guided in his calculations by symptoms, and he is able to diagnose the atmos pheric conditions with about the same degree of accuracy that the skilled phy sician is able to determine the bodily condition of his patient. He is able to forecast changes in the weather with rather more certainty than the physician can predict the course and the result of a well-defined disease. While but less than a century ago we knew not whence the winds came nor whither they went, we are now able, through the aid of daily meteorological observations and the telegraph that joins our places of observation by an electric touch, to trace out the harmonious operations of many physical laws that previously were unknown, and that determine the go ings and the comings of the winds, and the sequence in which weather changes * Copyright, 1905, by the National Geographic Society.