Tuesday, 13 January 2009: 1:30 PM
Fifty years of progress in tropical meteorology: a personal view
Room 223 (Phoenix Convention Center)
A review of the history of tropical meteorology is presented. Progress in tropical meteorology has been influenced in a significant way by weather and climate events, geopolitical events, and technological advances. WWII led to a rapid growth in both tropical meteorology and the field as a whole owing to the need for extensive meteorological training. The development of the ENIAC computer in the late 1940s heralded the beginning of numerical weather prediction. WWII also led to the formation of a number departments of meteorology in the United States. Another surge in U.S. meteorology departments, as well as science research and education in general in the U.S., came about after the 1957 Soviet Union launch of Sputnik. A number of climate and weather events also influenced the course of history in tropical meteorology: droughts, hurricanes, El Ninos, and climate regime shifts. Advances in tropical meteorology, including key discoveries and events, are reviewed chronologically by decade, from the 1950s up to the present time.