By: Dharmasiri Ehelepola
Weather forecasting –it is the application of science and technology to predict the conditions of the atmosphere, for a given location at a given time.
Ancient methods-Babylonians, Greeks, Chinese and Indians contributed immensely in the subject of meteorology.
Aristotle was one of the forefathers in the history of the science of meteorology. His Meteorologica is the oldest comprehensive documentary in the subject of meteorology. Ancient Greeks invented the term meteorology, the study of atmospheric disturbances. The word climate stems from the Greek word klima
Babylonians predicted the weather from the clouds
. Some of our first observational meteorologists and weather forecasters were shepherds, farmers, hunters’, warriors and sailors whose livelihoods and safety depended upon understanding and predicting the weather. Shepherds guarding their flocks on the ancient hillsides looked skyward for signs of changes in the weather. Farmers noticed that rain or drought could destroy crops if they were planted or harvested at the wrong time. Sailors experienced severe storms at sea or long delays if they were “trapped” in areas of calm. These groups gathered data through keen observations, which proved important as a foundational database of weather information.
In the evening, it will be fair weather, for the sky is red, and in the morning, today it will be stormy, for the sky is red and overcast
Following are wise old sayings,
– Red sky at night sailor’s delight
– Red sky in the morning sailor’s take warning
– Aches in bones and joints indicate changes in weather
– Wind that causes leaves to turn upwards on trees indicates a coming of a weather change.
– Lack of dew on grass in the early morning indicates change in weather
– A circle around the moon indicates impending precipitation.
An inscription on a 3500 year old stone block from Egypt may be one of the world’s oldest weather reports. This could also provide new evidence about the chronology of events in the ancient Middle East
Ancient weather forecasting methods usually relied on observed patterns of events. As an example if the sunset was particularly red the following day often had fair weather however not all of these predications are accurate at all times