Weather History: National Weatherperson’s Day

Today is National Weatherperson’s Day in the United States. While not an official federal holiday, it is a day to recognize the work of all individuals involved in the field of meteorology – not just prognosticating groundhogs.

According to the NWS, February 5, 1744 was the birthday of Dr. John Jeffries – one of America’s first weather observers.  As a Boston based physician with a deep interest in weather, he kept detailed records of daily weather conditions from 1774 to 1816.  He also took the first known weather observation from a hot air balloon in 1784. Recognizing the significant contributions Dr. Jeffries made to the science of weather, this date was chosen in his honor.

Technology has grown by leaps and bounds since the 18th century, but the core work of meteorologists has not changed. They continue to gather and analyze weather data to provide forecasts and warnings to the public in an effort to protect lives and property across the country.

Dr. John Jeffries taking weather measurements from hot air balloon.  Source: Wonderful Balloon Acesnts

Dr. John Jeffries taking weather measurements from a hot air balloon in 1784.  Source: Wonderful Balloon Ascents.

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About Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is an environmental communicator and visual artist working at the intersection of art and science. She is passionate about exploring, learning, and sharing information about the natural world. She has presented her interdisciplinary work in a variety of mediums at venues and conferences around the world.