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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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:: An Expanding Atmosphere: The War Years (1939–1945)

:: An Expanding Atmosphere: The War Years (1939–1945)

(p.69) 3 :: An Expanding Atmosphere: The War Years (1939–1945)
Weather by the Numbers

Kristine C. Harper

The MIT Press

The relatively low demand for weather forecasts despite the rapid increase in numbers of aircraft and flight hours left the American meteorological community of approximately 400 professionals extremely unprepared to meet the nation’s need for atmospheric support during World War II. This chapter discusses the small academic community’s response: the training of about 8,000 meteorologists and 20,000 meteorological observers and technicians under the direction of Carl-Gustav Rossby’s University Meteorological Committee. Composed of one representative from each of the “Big Five” meteorology programs (those at MIT, NYU, Caltech, the University of California at Los Angeles, and the University of Chicago), the committee—with the help of every academic meteorologist in the country—had fulfilled its training mission by 1943 and had begun considering how academic meteorology could influence the postwar research agenda.

Keywords:   meteorology, World War II, University Meteorological Committee, meteorological training

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