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This (Upcoming) Day in History, National Weatherperson’s Day: Jeffries Knew How The Air Varies

As readers of this site might know, tomorrow (or today if you’re reading it on Monday, the 5th of February), is National Weatherperson’s Day! However, did you know why today was picked for celebrating the true meteorologist? (Yeah, groundhogs are cute, but can they decode METARs or determine vorticity advection on a 500mb map?). February 5th was chosen because it is the birthday of John Jeffries, the first weather observer here in the United States & the first to collect balloon observations over London, England.

In 1774 during the Revolutionary War, Jeffries was a physician in Boston, Massachusetts, and he used older versions of what we have to gather weather data here on the ground, a thermometeršŸŒ”, hygrometer (to measure humidity), and barometer (measuring pressure) to get the pulse of the weather on a daily basis. Ten years later, he would take those instruments to 9000 feet above London in the decade balloon-based weather observations came onto the scene. (Wow, the late 18th century was big for the first crucial element to truly determine our forecasts!)

Now that you know the reason for National Weatherperson’s Day, please take a moment to thank all those weather people in your life & in your community. From young to old, from student to professional, and from citizen observers to the meteorologists who research & forecast this fascinating thing known as weather, it’s something that takes a team & is more complex than one may think!

-Cardinal Weather Service Forecaster Ryan Hill-

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