Author: Mary Knapp

Chances are good that on any given day, you’ve seen a weather map. They are common on television, the internet, or in newspapers. Generally, the maps show areas of high and low pressure, as well as fronts, temperatures, and rainfall. But do you know when the FIRST weather map was drawn? Believe it or not, it was in 1816 by a Polish scientist named Heinrich Brandes. It wasn’t much use in predicting the next day’s weather, since it was based on observations from 1783. But, it helped him develop the theory that storms were moving areas of low pressure that could be tracked and charted. And tracking those pressure systems is a key component of modern forecasting.

US Surface Map (NWS)

Mary Knapp, Weather Data Library