On 6 Aug, 10:55, Brian <bcl...
> Weatherlawyer <weatherlaw...
> > On Aug 4, 3:19 am, Brian <bcl...
> > It would be worth your visiting his site again. Next time go better
> > armed. Use something like the NEIC lists and a daily storm list such
> > as this one to make your own allowances for what he says:
> Do you have a link to Ken's site? I use to have his site address but he has
> changed it a few times.
> One thing I was pleased was that he added me to his e-mailing list when I
> asked him a question. I got a news update by e-mail from him a while ago
> but have not heard from him since then.
Here is something from the birth of Meteorology at CalTech in the
By the end of 1940, knowing the military implications of what was
being learned in CalTech's meteorology division under Krick direction,
Millikan and von Karman invited General Arnold-1 was now a general and
head of the Air Force-to drop in next time his flying missions around
the country brought him to the Pasadena area.
Arriving in December, Arnold walked into Krick's laboratory just as
Krick read a telegram from a Christmas tree company in Newfoundland
that had wanted to know how much time was left to get a cutting of
trees out of the woods before they were buried under a fresh snowfall.
"Your forecast's right on the nose," the grateful client wired, going
on to say that they had gotten the last trees out just as the first
flakes began falling.
Krick handed the wire to General Arnold. "Gee, how do you do that?"
asked Arnold, who knew that because of German submarine prowling" the
Atlantic, Newfoundland was blacked out to weather reports. "How can
you forecast the weather in a place where you're not getting any
"With our weather types we can get by without many observa- tions,"
Krick answered. "We can go into an area downwind from our types and
develop a fairly good forecast without them." Arnold thought a moment,
then broke into the grin that made him known as "Hap." He said, "I
want that for the military. Would you set up a special course in long-
range forecasting for some of my guys you've trained? Select any four
that you want, and I'll grab them from wherever they are and send them
Krick chose four of his most promising former students from the Army
Air Corps and gave them a special course in what had been learned
since they graduated, including how to forecast for a blacked out
region such as Newfoundland. There would be many of those for the
United States if war came.
In October, 1941, at the request of General Arnold, who was anxious to
make the Weather Bureau more familiar with Ktrck's work as it was
being developed for the Air Force, Krick went to Washington and gave a
series of lectures to the government fore- casters. He won no converts
to his ideas.
With the country now at war, the Air Force in February, 1942, ordered
the lectures published for distribution to its weather officers
throughout the world. But the man charged with their distribution, Dr.
Harry Wexler, a former Weather Bureau employee commis- sioned for
service in the Air Force, locked the documents away, never to be seen.
Far from getting the Weather Bureau's ear, Krick presently found
himself on the receiving end of a lecture himself from the bureau's
chief, F. W. Reichelderfer. Krick thus was hoist with his own petard,
incidentally, for it was he who had recommended Reich- elderfer, a one-
time Navy weatherman, for his post, acting through Dr. Millikan,
former chairman of President Roosevelt's Advisory Committee on the
Weather Bureau. Reichelderfer had been upset by "recent press notices
in which you [Krick] were credited with new discoveries in methods of
long- range forecasting making it possible to forecast with a high
degree of accuracy for periods up to ten years."
In the wake of these stories, Reichelderfer continued with a note of
distress, the bureau had received a flood of questions from newsmen
and government departments wanting to know where the Weather Bureau
stood on long-range forecasting and its use by the military.
"You know that our purpose is to aid and encourage progress in this
extremely important phase of weather forecasting," Reich- elderfer
wrote on December 5, 1941, two days before Pearl Harbor. "Headlines
claiming great accuracy in long-range forecasting arouse controversy
and are not conducive to real progress."
Reichelderfer recalled impatiently that he had spoken to Krick about
this matter twice before, the first time on a visit to CalTech during
the summer, and again no longer ago than September. "I emphasize that
I would not like to see you count too much upon your present methods,"
he wrote. He stressed that Krick's methods were "still experimental."
Caution was the watchword. "If you are on the verge of an en- during
technique we shall be very glad, but if it does not turn out as you
expect you will suffer and so will the profession." Reichelderfer
advised that "for your own protection you ought to get someone to make
a thorough statistical check of your latest method." And the agent to
do that, Reichelderfer indicated, was the United States Weather
Reichelderfer enclosed a copy of the reply he had prepared for all
those who wanted to know about long-range forecasting after reading in
the newspapers about Krick's work. In the statement Reichelderfer
dismissed long-range forecasting as a military tool. He conceded that
"defense needs have multiplied several-fold the importance of extended
weather forecasts," adding in passing that this had been "a subject of
intense human interest since time immemorial," and he told what the
Weather Bureau was doing to foretell the weather further in advance,
but said it hadn't made much headway-just as no one else had, either.
"Long-range weather forecasts for periods greatly in excess of those
issued by official meteorological organizations," the state- ment
continued, "are somewhat like anticipations of stock market
fluctuations-they should be carefully checked for a few months at
least before one puts much money in them."
The long-range forecasting claims by the German military, pub- lished
in the United States shortly before Hitler invaded Poland and set off
World War II, had been carefully studied by our own weathermen, both
government and private, and had been found to be nothing to get
A potted history here:
The book is very readable, if slightly propagandist.
Since the man apparently used what was to become standard practice in
meteorological circles, it only has a bearing on the thread due to the
fact that nay-sayers tend to get in the way of progress. These days
looking for older weather records is standard practice. One would like
to think the more esoteric principles have not been abandoned and that
I am not still the only one on here looking for a first cause.