Today is National Weather Observer’s Day in the US. While not an official federal holiday, it is a day to celebrate people who love to observe the weather.
Without a doubt, weather is a serious business. Professional meteorologists work around the clock to monitor conditions and create forecasts aimed at protecting life and property. But, there are also non-professionals who are awe-inspired by the show Mother Nature puts on everyday. These enthusiasts love to observe and talk about the weather. Some even volunteer as “spotters” for the NWS to provide ground truth observations that supplement radar data. Simply put, these are people who are interested in weather beyond the emoji on their smart phone app.
It is also important to remember that the science of meteorology began with the work of dedicated amateur observers like John Jeffries, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and Luke Howard. They were fascinated by weather and simply wanted to understand it better. As Henri Poincaré – the famous physicist and mathematician said, “The scientist does not study nature because it is useful; he studies it because he delights in it, and he delights in it because it is beautiful.”