Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Weather by the NumbersThe Genesis of Modern Meteorology$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Kristine C. Harper

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780262083782

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262083782.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM MIT PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The MIT Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in MITSO for personal use (for details see www.mitpress.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 17 October 2018

:: Creating a Realistic Atmosphere (1950–1952)

:: Creating a Realistic Atmosphere (1950–1952)

(p.151) 6 :: Creating a Realistic Atmosphere (1950–1952)
Weather by the Numbers

Kristine C. Harper

The MIT Press

This chapter details how the Meteorology Project tested a variety of atmospheric models. First run on Army Ordnance’s ENIAC and then on John von Neumann’s computer, the team members modified the models to get a “match” between the computer forecast and the weather that had occurred. The initial post hoc forecasts of the infamous 1950 Thanksgiving Day storm, which had dumped large amounts of snow and rain in the Mid-Atlantic states, were made in spring 1952. The results were poor. The first two computer models failed to catch the explosive deepening of the low-pressure system, but the third model—a simple two-level baroclinic model—did the trick. Even though the “predicted” low-pressure center was 240 miles from its observed position, the computer-generated forecast would have allowed forecasters to forecast the rain and snow that had disrupted the Eastern Seaboard. The Princeton team members were moving closer toward their goal of creating a realistic atmospheric prediction, but they were not the only ones. Army Air Force meteorologist Philip Thompson, an original Meteorology Project member, was also developing and testing his own models at the Air Force’s Geophysical Research Directorate in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Keywords:   Meteorology Project, atmospheric models, weather forecasting, Philip Thompson

MIT Press Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.