Forecasting Lags Theory

The Bergen meteorologists had developed new and useful techniques for tying observational data to better forecasts, but not everyone adopted polar front theory and air mass analysis methods. The news about air mass analysis did spread quickly around the world, in no small part as a result of the efforts of Bergen School members who traveled to Russia, the United States, and throughout Europe to teach their techniques to every meteorologist who would listen.

The American meteorologist and long-range-prediction expert Jerome Namias (1910-97) told the popular meteorological magazine Weatherwise in a 1984 interview, "The concepts made order out of the apparent chaos of weather. They provided a practical method that the forecaster could use in his daily work." They also upset the accepted forecasting practices in some national weather services, some of which refused to adopt air mass analysis until the 1930s.

The British did not put fronts on their weather maps until 1933. The U.S. Weather Bureau did not introduce air mass analysis techniques until it was forced to do so in 1934. The ditching of the airship USS Akron into the frothy waves of the Atlantic Ocean during a major unforecasted storm in 1932 led to a review of Weather Bureau practices by the Science Advisory Board (SAB) in 1933. The SAB, whose

Forecasters at the U.S. Weather Bureau Forecast Office, Washington, D.C., 1926 (NOAA Photo Library)

Forecasters at the U.S. Weather Bureau Forecast Office, Washington, D.C., 1926 (NOAA Photo Library)

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