On this date in 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a joint resolution of Congress establishing the U.S. Weather Bureau. Today the official term for the agency is the National Weather Service (NWS), a part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
When originally established, the NWS was a part of the United States Army, specifically the U.S. Army Signal Service’s Division of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce. The advent of the telegraph in the mid-19th century was a major advancement in meteorology, allowing the rapid collection and analysis of weather data and observations (1).
Today the NWS is a civilian agency under the auspices of the Department of Commerce. Headquartered in Silver Spring, Maryland, it has 122 weather forecast offices and over 5,000 employees. The NWS collects some 76 billion observations and issues approximately 1.5 million forecasts each year. (2).
In addition to talking about the literal weather outside, we also talk a lot about figurative weather, using a flood of weather metaphors and idioms to shoot the breeze. The following are just a few examples of these figurative weather words:
Cloud of suspicion
Head in the clouds
Shoot the breeze
Steal someone’s thunder
Tempest in a teapot
Under the weather
Weather the storm
Today’s Challenge: Brainstorm of Titles
What are some titles of books, stories, poems, plays, songs, or movies that have weather words in them? Of all the weather-titled works, which is the single best? Brainstorm a list of titles that contain at least one weather word, such as breeze, cloud, flood, fog, frozen, gale, hazy, heat, hurricane, ice, lightning, misty, rain, shower, snow, storm, sunny, thunder, or wind. For example, the following is a list of titles that each contain the word “snow”:
Fifteen Feet of Pure White Snow
Let It Snow
Smilla’s Sense of Snow
Snow Falling on Cedars
Stopping By Wood on a Snowy Evening
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
The Snows of Kilimanjaro
Once you have a good list, select the one work that you think is the best. Write a paragraph arguing why this weather-titled work stands out. Beyond just its title, what makes this work of art outstanding? (Common Core Writing 1 – Argument)
Quotation of the Day: Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, snow is exhilarating; there is really no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather. -John Ruskin