Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Something About Weather Observers

Beacon of the wise?

I thought of The Dark Secret of Weatherend (1984) when Dalcy told me today is National Weather Observers Day. That and the old weather beacon atop the television station:
Beacon be red, warm weather ahead
Beacon be blue, clear skies to you
Beacon be white, go fly a kite
Beacon be green, cold weather foreseen
I’ve always wondered if people identifying as color blind really care about weather beacons. I also wonder if there were other Borkman family members related to Jorgen Knut (the villain from the aforementioned Weatherend) who were as enthusiastic about the weather. Maybe he had a niece who became a television meteorologist at the station with the weather beacon.

How long have people been observing weather? Millenia, if not longer. The Timeline of Measuring the Weather from the Science Learning Hub notes the first public weather forecasts existed as early as 600 BC:
Weather forecasts in Greece are formally issued to help people plan their seasonal cropping activities. The study of weather patterns becomes known as meteorology. This term comes from the Greek word ‘meteoros’, which means ‘high in the sky’.
The Tower of the Winds (or the Horologion of Andronikos Kyrrhestes) is an octagonal marble clocktower in the Roman Agora in Athens which is considered the world's first meteorological station. The structure features a combination of sundials, a water clock, and a wind vane. It was supposedly built around 50 BC - or, according to other sources, in the 2nd century BC.

Does this Tower of the Winds sound familiar? It should – especially for Anthony Monday. But that’s another story to come.
Beacon be black, turn the power on, Jack

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