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Weather by the NumbersThe Genesis of Modern Meteorology$
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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

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:: A Stagnant Atmosphere: The Weather Services before World War II

:: A Stagnant Atmosphere: The Weather Services before World War II

(p.11) 1 :: A Stagnant Atmosphere: The Weather Services before World War II
Weather by the Numbers

Kristine C. Harper

The MIT Press

This chapter describes the stagnant state of meteorological services during the interwar period. The US Weather Bureau was the agency responsible for the nation’s weather. Operating on a small budget of $2 million annually—or two cents per person—its free weather forecasts saved American farmers and businesses tens of millions of dollars by reducing crop losses. But despite its positive economic influence, the Bureau’s budget and staff shrank due to the funding reductions of the Great Depression. What little progress had been made, primarily in aviation-related support, gave way to drastic retrenchment during the 1930s.

Keywords:   US Weather Bureau, meteorology, weather forecasting, meteorological services, Great Depression

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