Today, Thursday, February 5, is National Weatherman's Day, commemorating the birth of John Jeffries in 1744. Jeffries, one of America's first weather observers, began taking daily weather observations in Boston in 1774 (and he took the first balloon observation in 1784). This is a day to recognize the men and women who collectively provide the U.S. with the best weather, water, and climate forecasts and warning services of any nation.
Many of us take weather information for granted. Turn on a light switch, you get light. Turn on your television or radio, or check a web site and you get the weather forecast. It’s easy to forget that around the clock, dedicated meteorologists and weathercasters are vigilantly creating forecasts to help you plan your day, and issuing warnings to help keep you safe.
The men and women at your local National Weather Service (NWS) forecast office gather the raw weather data, analyze the data, and study numerical computer models in order to issue the weather and river forecasts and warnings to protect life and property. Specialized marine and aviation forecasts help enhance the Nation’s economy. Specific "spot" forecasts help firefighters control wildfires and emergency management officials contain hazardous chemical spills. Extensive climate records help engineers, architects, researchers, insurance companies and utilities.
Most of the colorful weather graphics seen on television and in newspapers come from another member of the America's weather team. Commercial weather companies enhance the presentation of NWS data and information for their clients in the media and in many weather-sensitive industries, and provide customized forecasts and services for clients.
And finally, television meteorologists and weathercasters are the most visible members of America's weather team. They are the trusted faces many people turn to for weather information, and they relay the NWS’s official watches and warnings for hazardous weather to help keep you safe.