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Today Is National Weatherperson's Day

February 2015

By WeatherBug Sr. Meteorologist, John Bateman

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Thursday is National Weatherperson`s Day - a day used to recognize men and women making contributions in the field of meteorology.

"National Weatherperson`s Day?", you may ask yourself, "Is that for real?"

As a matter of fact, yes! It became a recognized "holiday" in the 1990s and was chosen in honor of one of the U.S.`s first weather observers, John Jeffries, who took daily weather observations from 1774 to 1816.

John Jeffries was a Boston scientist and physician born on February 5, 1744. Always fascinated by the weather, Jeffries started taking and recording daily weather measurements in Boston in 1774. He later teamed up with Jean-Pierre Blanchard who was a French inventor and pioneer in aviation and ballooning.

In 1784, while on a balloon several thousand feet aloft, Jeffries took the first-ever weather measurements from a balloon, a critical source of weather data that meteorologists use to this day. Later, Jeffries rode on the first balloon flight across the English Channel with Blanchard on January 7, 1785. The hydrogen-filled balloon flew from Dover Castle, England to Guines, France. While in the air, Jeffries took more weather measurements during the two-and-a-half hour trip.

Because of his significant contributions to the science of weather observing and forecasting, February 5 (Jeffries` birthday) was chosen as National Weatherperson`s Day.

Maybe you can throw your favorite meteorologist a party ...with balloons?


Story image: American physician John Jeffries (1744-1819), who performed the first weather observations from a gas balloon. Courtesy of J. Russel, Caroline Watson, and Wikimedia Commons

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