Weather Forecasting – Rain Moving Out

In the earliest of time when our ancestors were hunter gatherers and before man settled into cities weather was just a thing to be experienced and observed in the present tense – when it rained you got wet, if it was hot you sweated…  When you saw black clouds coming that was your early weather forecast for a storm meaning the gods were probably angry.


The art of weather forecasting began with early civilizations using reoccurring astronomical and meteorological events to help them monitor seasonal changes in the weather. Around 650 B.C., the Babylonians tried to predict short-term weather changes based on the appearance of clouds and optical phenomena such as haloes. By 300 B.C., Chinese astronomers had developed a calendar that divided the year into 24 festivals, each festival associated with a different type of weather.

Around 340 B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote Meteorologica, a philosophical treatise that included theories about the formation of rain, clouds, hail, wind, thunder, lightning, and hurricanes. In addition, topics such as astronomy, geography, and chemistry were also addressed. Aristotle made some remarkably acute observations concerning the weather, along with some significant errors, and his four-volume text was considered by many to be the authority on weather theory for almost 2000 years. Although many of Aristotle’s claims were erroneous, it was not until about the 17th century that many of his ideas were overthrown.

Throughout the centuries, attempts have been made to produce forecasts based on weather lore and personal observations. However, by the end of the Renaissance, it had become increasingly evident that the speculations of the natural philosophers were inadequate and that greater knowledge was necessary to further our understanding of the atmosphere. In order to do this, instruments were needed to measure the properties of the atmosphere, such as moisture, temperature, and pressure. The first known design in western civilization for a hygrometer, an instrument to measure the humidity of air, was described by Nicholas Cusa (c.1401-1464, German) in the mid-fifteenth century. Galileo Galilei (1564-1642, Italian) invented an early thermometer in 1592 or shortly thereafter; and Evangelista Torricelli (1608-1647, Italian) invented the barometer for measuring atmospheric pressure in 1643.

While these meteorological instruments were being refined during the seventeenth through nineteenth centuries, other related observational, theoretical, and technological developments also contributed to our knowledge of the atmosphere; and individuals at scattered locations began to make and record atmospheric measurements. The invention of the telegraph and the emergence of telegraph networks in the mid-nineteenth century allowed the routine transmission of weather observations to and from observers and compilers. Using these data, crude weather maps were drawn and surface wind patterns and storm systems could be identified and studied. Weather-observing stations began appearing all across the globe, eventually spawning the birth of synoptic weather forecasting, based on the compilation and analysis of many observations taken simultaneously over a wide area, in the 1860s.

With the formation of regional and global meteorological observation networks in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, more data were becoming available for observation-based weather forecasting. A great stride in monitoring weather at high altitudes was made in the 1920s with the invention of the radiosonde. Small lightweight boxes equipped with weather instruments and a radio transmitter, radiosondes are carried high into the atmosphere by a hydrogen or helium-filled balloon that ascends to an altitude of about 30 kilometers before bursting. During the ascent, these instruments transmit temperature, moisture, and pressure data (called soundings) back to a ground station. There, the data are processed and made available for constructing weather maps or insertion into computer models for weather prediction. Today, radiosondes are launched every 12 hours from hundreds of ground stations all over the world.


We certainly got wet last night if you dared to venture out as my wife and I did to go out to eat.  We received 1.22 inches of rain in the past 24 hours.  Our month total is up to 3.74 inches.  Our next chance of rain is Wednesday.  Some areas east of Grand Rapids picked up over three inches most rainfall around Kent and Ottawa counties was between two and three inches.

The CPC continues to give us a 90% chance above above normal temps through the next two weeks – normal is in the upper 60s to 70°.


 

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Bernie (Hamilton)
Bernie (Hamilton)

I picked up 2.7 inches of rain from this last system. Can’t believe I’m actually looking forward to swapping out the mower with the snow blower.

Rocky (Rockford)
Rocky (Rockford)

Now you are talking! Rock n roll will never die!

INDY
INDY

Beautiful afternoon out at thee YARDofBRICKS NE of GR temp 69* winds out of the north feels refreshing ….Happy first day of Autom MV’S best .. INDY

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

Same to you!! Enjoy Fall!!

Jeff(Portland)
Jeff(Portland)

1.25 inches here from last nights rain.

Sandy (Hudsonville)
Sandy (Hudsonville)

We got over 2 inches of rain here. It looked like a river behind us. It poured. Last night felt pretty mild when we had the dog out for last call.

Mr. Negative
Mr. Negative

ADA – 2.4 inches from Sunday evenings rain. Glad the rain finally “appeared”, as the yard/gardens were awkwardly dry.

Slim

On a side note. In reading some of the other weather blogs (note the other blogs are filled with many snow and cold weather enthusiast) but any way the point I wanted to make is that it looks like good old winter weather enthusiast Joe Bastardi is at it again Here is a quote from JB. “this season is going to be very difficult forecasting the Autumn/Winter months just by using analogs. I have never seen such a diverse PAC ocean and the battle between the warm PDO and cool ENSO. That reason alone, has never happened in the SAT… Read more »

Slim

Nice information today MV
Slim

Slim

The H/L yesterday at GRR was 80/68. That 68 sets a new record minimum for the date. The official rain fall yesterday at GRR was 2.56”. Here at my house just NW of Grand Rapids I recorded just 1.43” so the rain was much heaver to my SE. For today the average H/L is 70/50 the record high was a hot 96 in 2017 and the record low is 28 set in 1974. The warmest minimum is 66 set in 2017. And the record coldest maximum is 49 set in 1928. Last year the H/L was 71/45.
Slim

Slim

The timing of yesterdays rain fall is one of the issues I have with the CoCoRaHS reporting times. For CoCoRaHS the standard reporting time is 7 AM give or take but the NWS their daily report is from midnight to midnight so that yesterday my CoCoRaHS report was 0.35” for Saturday and then 1.08” for Sunday. And the official report at GRR was 2.56” for Sunday and just a trace for Saturday.
Slim

Barry in Zeeland
Barry in Zeeland

We were at around a half an inch of rain until 8 last night and then it just poured like crazy. Within an hour our total jumped 2 inches and we ended up with 2.79” total for the day. Yet another very mild night last night, never getting below the upper 60’s, almost 20 degrees above average.