no edit summary
We have increasingly become accustomed to seeing the impact of major hurricanes and weather phenomena on communities. Fortunately, over the 20th and 21st centuries, weather monitoring technologies, such as radar, have allowed us to obtain much more warning before events occur. However, weather monitoring has had a long historical road, as past and modern societies have always had a desire to know what would happen to their crops, homes and livelihoods.
By the 3rd millennium BCE, seasonality and its regularity was recorded. Early weather recording often related to astronomical observations, as seasonal changes and time keeping were seen as being related. Some of the earliest detailed records of meteorological data derive from ancient Mesopotamia from the 8th century BCE. During that time, a detailed record spanning some six hundred years seems to have been collected that described weather phenomena, often focusing on difficult or bad weather. While the texts often focus on omens, particularly what might happen after a weather phenomenon such as storms, the compiling of the data suggests a type of forecasting was intended by the compilation. In effect, the records may have been an attempt to correlate weather events with other events, including political, economic and other important matters.<ref>For more on early Mesopotamian records, see: Taub, L.C. (2003) <i>Ancient meteorology. Sciences of antiquity</i>. London ; New York, Routledge, pg. 16-17.</ref> Early records from Mesopotamia also indicate how celestial objects often foreshadowed weather events. For instance, a halo around the moon portends rain and flooding. <ref>For more on weather events and celestial phenomena, see: Teague, K.A. & Gallicchio, N. (2017) <i>The evolution of meteorology: a look into the past, present, and future of weather forecasting </i>. Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, Inc, pg. 3-4.</ref>
In China, records often seemed neutral as to the types of weather data kept. By the 13th century BCE, the Chinese were attempting to record amount of rainfall, types of precipitation (sleet vs. rain) and an indication of temperature. The Chinese, similar to Mesopotamia, also saw their weather as being related with the whim of the gods or their moral or immoral behavior. Records also indicates understanding of the hydrologic cycle and how distant events such as rainfall in the mountains could influence flooding. The concept of Yin and Yang was related to weather, where a balance between hot and cold and other opposites in weather were necessary for society to be balance. In effect, this is early evidence of how weather began to also shape philosophy and concepts of spiritual as well as physical balance in life.<ref>For more on Chinese weather beliefs, see: Teague, K.A. & Gallicchio, N. (2017), pg. 4</ref>
Aristotle has often been considered a pioneer in meteorology with his book <i>Meteorlogica</i>, with the title suggesting that our present English term deriving from the ancient Greek. Aristotle saw that weather was affected by the four bodies, namely fire, air, earth, water. Many of his views involved the supernatural, similar to Mesopotamia and China; however, he made some important observations. For instance, the rising of hot air and the descent of cold air. He also understood that the atmosphere was complex, consisting of multiple layers.<ref>For more on Aristotle and his early understanding of Meteorology, see: Lettinck, P., Ibn al-Khammār, A. al-K. al-Ḥasan ibn S., Ibn al-Khammār, A. al-K. al-Ḥasan ibn S., Avempace, et al. (1999) Aristotle’s Meteorology and its reception in the Arab world: with an edition and translation of Ibn Suwār’s Treatise on meteorological phenomena and Ibn Bājja’s Commentary on the Meteorology. Aristoteles Semitico-latinus v. 10. Leiden [Netherlands] ; Boston, Brill.</ref>
[[File:6884873348 18e22447cb b.jpg|thumbnail|Figure 1. Aristotle's understanding shaped European thought on weather observations for over two millennia.]]