The Weather Bureau

Rain, sun, wind, and storms hold great sway over important aspects of human and animal life, influencing everything from agricultural cycles and migration patterns to commonplace daily decision-making. For most of history, weather observation was impeded by the lack of adequate technology. In particular, prior to the advent of the telegraph, rigorous weather analysis was impossible. Only when weather observations could be communicated over distance and their patterns recorded, could storms be effectively tracked. The Military Weather Service, a meteorological division of the Army Signal Corps more commonly called the Weather Bureau, helped establish the science of meteorology and launch the comprehensive weather services we enjoy today.

  • A sketch depicting Signal Corps telegraph train installation at the Battle of Fredericksburg, circa December 1862.