Vilhelm Bjerknes – The Father of Modern Weather Forecasts

150 years have passed since Vilhelm Bjerknes the father of modern weather forecasts, was born. The event is celebrated worldwide by meteorologists who daily continues Bjerknes’ work, but in a more convenient way than in 1919.

The weather forecasts are based on an overview map. It describes the air masses and low pressures, just like the theory Bjerknes and his colleagues launched in 1919. Today’s technology has made the presentation much more professional.

Bjerknes was the first who analyzed weather forecasting based on the laws of physics and set up a program on how to calculate the weather from one point to another. Today, all forecasts are performed according to the principles Bjerknes made in 1904. It took a long time before the vision came to reality, and the real breakthrough came with the computers. In 1950, the world’s first weather forecasts were calculated by a computer.

His most famous text is from 1904, where he presents how weather forecasting could be solved both theoretically and practically. It was written in German and published in the journal “Meteorologische Zeitschrift”, and later translated into several other languages. Here he explains how weather forecasts can be made:

1. One must know with sufficient accuracy the atmospheric condition at a particular time.

2. One must know with sufficient accuracy the laws that govern the evolution of the atmosphere from one state to the next.

Bjerknes established a new educational field: Dynamic meteorology. Along with his colleagues he wrote a number of books, articles and scientific lectures.

You can read his article in Meterologische Zeitschrift here.

Thanks to this Norwegian scientist, we now are able to predict the weather! However, do not blame Bjerknes for typhoons, thunderstorms and blizzards.


Text by: Anette Broteng Christiansen, ThorNews

Photo on top:, below: Meterologisk institutt

Source: NRK

Categories: Nature

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