History of Tornado Forecasting, Part 1.
This newsletter is a continuation of our series of studies into the history of weather and natural disaster forecasting. The intent of these studies is to understand the pioneering efforts of those who brought us these capabilities, the often-messy process of discovery, the societal reaction and impacts of forecasting, the resistance of establishment naysayers, and all the setbacks and triumphs along the way. QuakeFinder seeks to enable an earthquake forecasting system and gathering these lessons-learned from history will help guide us on our quest. The following article is a look into very early days of tornado forecasting.
Did you know the first official tornado forecasts in the U.S. were made in the 1880s? According to author Marlene Bradford of Scanning the Skies – A History of Tornado Forecasting
, these forecasts became highly controversial, were quickly terminated, and a ban on the word ‘Tornado’ in government weather forecasting was instituted until 1938.
QuakeFinder presented the results of our 2016 data analysis at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco on December 16th. QuakeFinder’s poster entitled “An Algorithm Framework for Isolating Anomalous Signals In Electromagnetic Data” received considerable attention from the conference attendees and praise from industry experts. Members of the QuakeFinder team also attended the Natural Hazards session where other electromagnetic (EM) precursor research was presented. The EM community is growing and making substantial progress toward discovering patterns in Earth-emitting signals prior to earthquakes.
We are very pleased to announce a new member of the QuakeFinder team. Laura MacLean served as an intern to QuakeFinder this summer and has agreed to join the project full-time. Laura is a recent graduate with a Master of Science Degree in Geophysics from the Seismological Laboratory at UC Berkeley and also holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from UC San Diego’s School of Earth Science. After beginning her internship in June, Laura was of instant value to QuakeFinder’s research efforts by developing custom visualization software for our time-series data. This tool enables our team to review our dense data sets from multiple QF stations and mark intervals of interest for further evaluation. In addition to her focused support of QuakeFinder’s ‘Path To Stats’ (our initiative to develop correlation statistics on our largest earthquake data set), Laura was tasked with the evaluation of the an ‘Artificial-Intelligence-In-A-Box’ software package built by a local startup. The entire QF team is excited that Laura is joining and we look forward to working with her to create an earthquake forecasting system – and save lives.
Book Review: The Weather Experiment: The Pioneers Who Sought To See the Future
Author: Peter Moore, 2015
Review by: Dan Coughlin, Director, QuakeFinder
The subject book provides a detailed history of the emergence of weather forecasting as it advanced in the U.K. and U.S. during the mid 19th century. The author focuses on a handful of scientists, sailors, inventors, explorers and others that broke with the conventional wisdom and beliefs in meteorology to better understand the content and behavior of the atmosphere and to attempt to put order to what appeared to be random weather.