Forecasting History

Wireless Wonder: A History of Radar Use for Weather Operations Part I

  • By AMS Staff
  • Jul 31, 2023

Photo by Marat Gilyadzinov

The earliest origins of radar meteorology are difficult to uncover. The secrecy surrounding radar in World War II delayed reporting about technological breakthroughs until 1945 and later. But as far as can be determined, radio-location technology was fairly similar across different nations at the outbreak of the war. British work was slightly more advanced, largely due to the efforts of Sir Robert A. Watson-Watt. A Scottish physicist and meteorologist, Watson-Watt was a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society by 1915, published a paper on radio waves created by lightning in 1922, and delivered the Symons Memorial Lecture in 1929 on ‘‘Weather and Wireless.’’ 

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