Wednesday, November 6, 2013

This Date in 1871

Did you know that Toledo was one of the original weather reporting cities for the Weather Bureau (You know it as the U.S. National Weather Service) in the late 1800's? At the time, Toledo was an important port city on the Great Lakes. 
Today we have the luxury of satellites, radars and advanced computer equipment to help in forecasting. But back in the 1800's there wasn't as much technology. In fact typically only once-a-day measurements of temperature, wind direction and barometric pressure. 

Grant was president when the Weather Bureau was created
In 1869, routine observations via telegraph were being made daily in the United States. These reports were then charting, allowing for the first time an attempt to forecast the weather. This was especially important for maritime and agriculture interests at the time. 

Just for fun, we went back into the records and found today's weather in 1871. 

November 6, 1971
Notice how the western United States does not have many stations. Not many people lived there and many territories were not even states yet. Really the only reporting stations are where the transcontinental railroad had been build and near the coast.