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The American Meteorological Society

In the late 16th century and first half of the 17th century a range of meteorological instruments was invented – the thermometerbarometerhydrometer, as well as wind and rain gauges. In the 1650s natural philosophers started using these instruments to systematically record weather observations. Scientific academies established weather diaries and organised observational networks.[39] In 1654, Ferdinando II de Medici established the first weather observing network, that consisted of meteorological stations in FlorenceCutiglianoVallombrosaBolognaParmaMilanInnsbruckOsnabrück, Paris and Warsaw. The collected data were sent to Florence at regular time intervals.[40] In the 1660s Robert Hooke of the Royal Society of London sponsored networks of weather observers. Hippocrates‘ treatise Airs, Waters, and Places had linked weather to disease. Thus early meteorologists attempted to correlate weather patterns with epidemic outbreaks, and the climate with public health.[39]

During the Age of Enlightenment meteorology tried to rationalise traditional weather lore, including astrological meteorology. But there were also attempts to establish a theoretical understanding of weather phenomena. Edmond Halley and George Hadleytried to explain trade winds. They reasoned that the rising mass of heated equator air is replaced by an inflow of cooler air from high latitudes. A flow of warm air at high altitude from equator to poles in turn established an early picture of circulation. Frustration with the lack of discipline among weather observers, and the poor quality of the instruments, led the early modern nation states to organise large observation networks. Thus by the end of the 18th century meteorologists had access to large quantities of reliable weather data.[39] In 1832, an electromagnetic telegraph was created by Baron Schilling.[41] The arrival of the electrical telegraph in 1837 afforded, for the first time, a practical method for quickly gathering surface weather observationsfrom a wide area.[42]