Rex A. Martin
While weather-related disasters have been newsworthy since the day of the town crier, weather has been an inherent part of the daily news only since the mid-1800s. Weather journalism, complete with forecasts, warnings, and records, is now expected in local newspapers and news broadcasts. Arrival of the telegraph in 1844 and the rise of meteorology as a science over the next two decades combined to make weather “news.” The electric telegraph allowed reports of weather conditions across a wide area to be received almost simultaneously. As scientists came to understand the complex interactions among atmosphere, land, and water, this allowed forecasts to be made given conditions nearby and elsewhere. British hydrographer Francis Beaufort and his protégé Robert Fitzroy are the two most credited with the birth of weather forecasting as a science. Beaufort's development of his Wind Force Scale and “Weather Notation” coding, along with his production of reliable tide ...