Table of contents
1 Early events
2 19th century
3 20th century
4 21st century

Early events

  • 350BC - Aristotle wrote Meteorology.
  • 25 - Pomponius Mela formalizes the climatic zone system.
  • 1620 - Francis Bacon analyzes the scientific method in his Great Instauration of Learning.
  • 1686 - Edmund Halley presents a systematic study of the trade winds and monsoons and identifies solar heating as the cause of atmospheric motions.
  • 1686 - Edmund Halley establishes the relationship between barometric pressure and height above sea level.
  • 1714 - Gabriel Fahrenheit creates reliable scale for measuring temperature with a mercury-type thermometer
  • 1716 - Edmund Halley suggests that aurorae are caused by "magnetic effluvia" moving along the Earth's magnetic field lines.
  • 1742 - Anders Celsius, a swedish astronomer, proposed the centigrade scale for thermometers.

19th century

  • 1842 - Elias Loomis performed an experiment to gain insight into the wind speed needed to defeather a chicken. He loaded a cannon with gun powder and a chicken.
  • 1860 - 500 U.S. telegraph stations are making weather observations and submitting them back to the Smithsonian Institution. The observations are later interrupted by the Civil War.
  • 1869 - Joseph Lockyer starts the scientific journal Nature.
  • 1890 - Weather Bureau is created as a civilian operation under the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • 1898 - Weather Bureau established a hurricane warning network in the West Indies.

20th century

  • 1900 - Hurricane strikes Galveston, Texas, killing over 6,000 people.
  • 1920 - Milutin Milankovic proposes that long term climatic cycles may be due to changes in the eccentricity of the Earth's orbit and changes in the Earth's obliquity.
  • 1925 - "Tri-State" tornado runs through Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana killing 695 people.
  • 1935 - Robert Watson-Watt and his assistant Arnold Wilkins published a report in February 1935, titled The Detection of Aircraft by Radio Methods.
  • 1935 - The "Great Labor Day Hurricane" kills 408 people. It is rated as the most intense Category 5 Atlantic hurricane to make landfall.
  • 1934 to 1937 - The Dust Bowl drought of the US plains region causes harsh economic damage.
  • 1937 - Army Air Forces Weather Service was established (redesignated in 1946 as AWS-Air Weather Service).
  • 1941 - Pulsed radar network is implemented in England during WWII.
  • 1948 - First correct tornado prediction by R. C. Miller and E. J. Fawbush.
  • 1950 - Hurricanes begin to be named alphabetically with the radio alphabet.
  • 1951 - WMO World Meteorological Organization established by the United Nations.
  • 1953 - National Hurricane Center (now NOAA National Hurricane Center) creates a system for naming hurricanes using alphabetical lists of women's names.
  • 1955 - NSSP National Severe Storms Project established.
  • 1956 - The Weather Bureau creates the National Hurricane Research Project.
  • 1957-1958 - International Geophysical Year coordinated research efforts in eleven sciences, focused on polar areas during the Solar Maximum.
  • 1969 - Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale created, used to describe hurricane strength on a category range of 1 to 5.
  • 1969 - Hurricane Camille, the second Category 5 hurricane to make US landfall causes $1.4 billion in damage.
  • 1970 - NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration established. Weather Bureau is renamed the National Weather Service.
  • 1971 - Ted Fujita introduces the Fujita scale for rating tornadoes.
  • 1975 - The first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GEOS, was launched into orbit. Their role and design is to aid in hurricane tracking.
  • 1980 - Mount St. Helens erupts explosively in Washington State.
  • 1988 - WSR-88D type weather radar implemented in the United States. Weather surveillance radar that uses several modes to detect severe weather conditions.

21st century

  • 2003 - NOAA hurricane experts issue first experimental Eastern Pacific Hurricane Outlook.