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Who Knew???

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February 5 is National Weatherperson's Day, commemorating the birth of John Jeffries in 1744. Jeffries, one of America's first weather observers, began taking daily weather observations in Boston in 1774 and he took the first balloon observation in 1784. This is a day to recognize the men and women who collectively provide Americans with weather, water, and climate forecasts and warning services.

Weather balloons are now launched at least twice per day at over 800 locations all around the world. The data is then fed into giant supercomputers that perform millions (or even billions) of calculations per second and spit out detailed forecast models of what the weather is likely to do anywhere from one hour to 360 hours in the future. It is up to your local weather person to interpret that data and develop an accurate forecast so that you can plan your day, your birthday party, outdoor wedding, etc.

The US now have sophisticated weather radars powerful enough to detect a flock of birds on a clear day and the rotating winds of a supercell thunderstorm about to spawn a tornado on a stormy day. Severe weather warnings issued by your local weather person (or persons) are saving lives, giving some 20+ minutes advanced warning in many cases.


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Oh PJ, how wonderful for you, I'll think of another dream... it will probably still involve travelling though, as I am so interested in other cultures. My husband just told me he used to have a friend in Geilo... which I've just looked up on Google, but he didn't go skiing!!


Mandy - I've already lived that life for you (languages, countries) - can you think of another dream... :-))) Ok, it's been very interesting and it has changed my life, since I've also adapted things from meeting with people and their cultures.
I could write an essay on the varity of Norwegian snow conditions .....


Thanks PJ, I think I heard it on the radio, someone was saying all the different words for snow in Norway, I was very intrigued. Languages fascinate me, I wish I knew more, I think if I had to live again, I would go and live in several countries and learn to speak the languages really well!!


Yes Mandy - we use a whole range of words for a variety of snow types................., it's interesting that you knew though....


Thank you PJ. I had fun researching the images for the puzzle, and I tried to represent a wide variety... although I know in Norway you have lots of different types of snow, which I know nothing about!!


Mandy - I love this one. The design is outstanding - the small images are so neatly composed and depict weather situations so acurately - and the kitten is perfect. Thank you for the info and the puzzle.


Well done whatnauts, and thankyou. I'd like to know more about what's happening in the sky, but I've never heard a weatherman offer that advice.

I don't know how Australians are coping with that heat!! I watched a David Attenborough programme last night that was showing some plants that spontaneously combust when the temperature goes above 32°C - I'd not want to have those around if I lived in Oz!!


Great puzzle, monza. The weather channel here has a regular feature with an astronomer advising what to look for.

I had a good look at your puzzle and I can't believe how hot it is in Australia. It's blazing.


Katie, that must be great, having weatherman who want to give more night sky info out... good for them. I'm glad you enjoyed the collage, thanks :~)


Excellent collage for today Mandy! I'm glad the technology has gotten so much better and we get more accurate forecasts. We have a couple of weathermen that are also interested in astronomy and give information on what planets are in the night sky and tell us when and where to look for the International Space Station. Thanks!


Thanks Ardy, you are so welcome, it's lovely to know that other people are enjoying my celebratory and sometimes educational puzzles!! I love that cat picture too - so I had to find a way to fit it into the collage - poor puss - I know how he feels, a couple of weeks ago when we had snow on our roofs, I shut the door on my way out, and a chunk of snow fell on my head!!! LOL!!


Thanks Pat, I've not got to you yet this morning... I know what to expect, unlike my weather today... they forecast snow and the sun is shining!!!


Barb, I suppose by using a guy's birthday it was hard to ensure it fell in summer... I've never been to the US, but isn't it always supposed to be warm and sunny (in some States)?? Maybe the choosers of the date lived in a southern state!! Thanks for letting me know you're enjoying your history lessons!!!


Thanks Wendy, I too remember them always getting it wrong (in the UK), as you say it has really improved since then.


Love the collage specially the cat with snow falling on its head. There have been times when I would wish the weather person would look out the window as the opposite to what is happening is what's being reported. Thanks for the puzzle and for the information. This has become an early morning stop for me. Appreciate what you are doing., Mandy.


Happy Weatherman Day.. the never get it right ...


I have to agree with Wendy that the weather forecasts have become much more accurate than when we were youngsters. Funny they should pick the middle of winter to celebrate - I would have thought a nice warm, sunny day in July would be much more appropriate. LOL
Thanks, Mandy, for another Who Knew puzzle as well as a little history lesson. :-)


Mandy, I remember once when I was in my teens deciding to track the accuracy of weather reports (in the US). So for two weeks I wrote down the forecast for tomorrow's weather. 50% of the time, they were totally wrong, and so much so that if they said it was going to rain all day, it turned out to be sunny all day, and then vice versa. Well, things have sure changed since then. The vast majority of the time they're right on spot.