• Charles Patrick Daly, prominent mid-19th century jurist, author, New York State Assembly member, and President of the American Geographical Society, wrote, “Nothing in the nature of the scientific investigation by the national government has proved so acceptable to the people, or has been productive in so short a time of such important results, as the establishment of the Signal Service (Weather) Bureau.”

  • A meteorologist at the console of an IBM 7090 electronic computer in the Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit, circa 1960. The 7090 processed weather data for short and long-range forecasts and research.

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The Weather Bureau

By the 1880s, the Signal Corps was almost completely consumed by its weather duties and had little time to spare for military endeavors. In 1890 Congress transferred oversight of the Weather Service to the Department of Agriculture. Army involvement in watching the weather was crucial in developing the basis for modern, reliable, nationwide weather observation and reporting.