Do Not Fold; 15
Do not phone then with a staple or mutilate this card. The slogan of the computer a University of Illinois radio service presents a series of programs about you and the computer from banks to hospitals and from airlines to music. It's application in this team and these programs will give you a glimpse of these countless applications and what they mean to you. Do not forget joins the temperature and wind velocity and other aspects of the weather in the computer age electronic data processing aid to the local weatherman and international scientists. In fact all men are influenced by the weather and appreciate advance warning of dangerous conditions. The distant sounds of thunder were once the only warning available to man. At
least men could take shelter from the coming rain and wind. But there was little time for other precautions. Floods came unannounced tornadoes lifted houses from their foundations frosts killed citrus crops and tidal waves shattered waterfront. Weather forecasters made fruit guesses but they were often inaccurate and of little help. Until 1955 these wizards of weather tried to manipulate vast amounts of weather data and plotted on geographical charts. They put it together. I saw therms isobars in areas of rain snow and clouds to form a coherent picture of the weather. But weathermen could take the same data and derive different forecasts depending upon their intuition. Then came the question which forecasts should be used as a basis for making a decision.
But now an advance warning indicates a careful analysis of conditions on the surface of the earth man is relying upon the results of numerical weather analysis and prediction various factors such as temperature change in temperature wind velocity and other indications are represented by numbers and manipulated inset formulas prevailing conditions may be determined by looking at the results of these computations. A weather center may accept numerical reports from weather stations around the world and identify the type and origin of these reports. Then the machine at the Weather Center decode this information and selects the relevant data to be placed in the memory according to previously determined instructions. The computer and circulates and smooths the data in an object of analysis of the weather. This means that the atmosphere of the planet Earth is represented by a series of mathematical equations. These equations can never completely duplicate the conditions of the Earth's surface but their representation and abilities may allow a computer to complete a
forecast in less than an hour. The rapid calculation of well over a million and with medical operations may provide a 24 hour prediction of weather conditions and time for it to be useful. Why is such analysis of the weather in numerical terms even a recent development. Several years ago Professor John von Neumann and Dr. J.G. Charney began to develop this method at the meteorology project of the Institute for Advanced Study. By the 1940s a whole new branch of theoretical Meteorology had about one time expansion of weather services with vast amounts of data collected regularly provided the necessary input information about activity well above the actual surface of the Earth was also available for the first time
sensing devices in the upper atmosphere provided a closer look at the macroscopic picture of the Earth's weather conditions. Another important development in the 1940s was the computer itself. The complex calculations that are an integral part of numerical weather analysis would never have been possible in a manual system. Predictions for a 24 hour period would have been complete days or even weeks later and of no benefit to mankind. Now it is possible to simulate in miniature the atmosphere of the earth within the computer and to see clearly the effect of a change in condition. Of course no exact reproduction of the earth weather can be achieved but a well-developed mathematical theory does relate to changes in the weather system. Some factors may be disregarded or simplified calculations. If these factors do not markedly affect the question at hand but it may be necessary to insert these factors at a later time because they become important in terms of another aspect of weather analysis.
One of the major arms in this new system of weather analysis has been the Air Weather Service. Nearly 11000 personnel maintain a global observing and forecasting network 100 stations record temperature humidity pressure visibility and other factors. This information may be obtained from the Earth's surface or from aircraft flying above even missiles and spacecraft are utilized to provide data. All of these facts are fed into the air and weather services central computer at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Forecasts are prepared at regular intervals throughout the day and made available to all the armed services as well as the United States Weather Bureau. Lewis Weston all of the operations section of the Air Weather Service describes how data has been obtained to prepare these forecasts. He traces the development of sources of weather data shortly following this Gen-Y which would be in the 1870s. The. Necessity for weather information became quite apparent to the public at large and this
became the case not only in the United States but in the well advanced countries of the world and a number of weather reporting stations were set up on a phased in base. That they all came in at once. These reporting stations were spread out through each country and they began to forward their reports. First of all can a series of points inside that country and then there became internationally street. During the period following World War one it seemed by the way that wars have. Brought forcibly to the fore the need for other information simply for military operations. So during the period between World War Ron and World War Two there began to be a growth in these weather reporting stations and then during the early stages of World War 2 there was an explosive growth.
Or a series of stations on the ground manned by people or weather at regular intervals. This is conventionally now at hourly intervals. They take observations distant as a layman might obscure certain elements of the weather temperature in the direction of the wind the speed of the wind the dewpoint temperature which is simply a measure of the humidity the cloud amounts and types and altitude of the various. What are elements that the. Conventional individual is familiar with. There are also some nazi ideas not so much aware of such as pressure Mr. West then explained how the weather service could make a forecast. The next step is putting these. Observations together into a meaningful. Depiction of the weather as a whole. In other words taking the reports and making a continuous picture of the
weather so that we can see where the Cyclons are located or if you wish to put it in terms of where the bad weather is located and then where the good weather is located. This faith is called Enough. The next step then would be having gotten a complete picture and I used the word complete there a little bit loosely. We are not in a position to start making a forecast. If we liken the globe to an individual who goes to a doctor or a doctor first of all looks at what the symptoms of the individual are he asks him questions he takes maybe an electrocardiogram or X-rays of various types taking observations just as we would in the weather field. The next step he does is. Those observations together which is what we call the analysis phase and he comes up with what is the difficulty with the individual if any. Maybe there is no individual and
no difficulty with the individual. And then we have whether the good runner takes the next step is to make the prognosis as a doctor and we caught the same thing making a prognosis more conventionally known as a forecast. So we really have a very similar set of circumstances except that the doctor is in a position to influence the prognosis by medicines treatment of various sorts which obviously we cannot do very well because we cannot control the motion or action of the atmosphere. What kind of information may be derived from such a method uses these results. There is an unlimited number. Of. Individual interest in the military service. I might give you just a few examples first and foremost within the Air Force. The military is concerned with aircraft operations. What will the weather be like flying
between us watching. And in Chicago what will be the landing conditions when he gets to his destination. This is the large bulk of our type of forecasting for military operations and I might mention that this is for missiles as well as for aircraft. But that really only is one small part of it. In addition to that we have such. What might initially seem things as for example when a missile is fired it gives off toxic that is poisonous gas. And these gases are distributed through the air to the point where they finally do not injure an individual if he should happen to inhale them. Well we are called upon to make a forecast of the speed and extent to which these gases would be dispelled in the atmosphere. This is an example of the other extreme. That we are forecasting we also would be called
upon to forecast it's things is ground conditions for Army maneuvers or tank movements things of that sort of an unlimited number of things that we must forecast for translate into military interest. The same thing that the civil side of the house is interim. Especially as they form an. Extensive but their paths may be charted with adequate information in the air weather service. The reports of observers at their inception. They fly through the center of the storm and determine its temperature barometric pressure humidity wind speed and direction. Computers and mornings are prepared for citizens.
One of the most promising developments in numerical weather analysis is a computer with increased capabilities at the University of Illinois for example the iliac for our computer is being set up and will make possible even faster and more accurate predictions. Only two milli seconds would be required on a one quadrant iliac for to update the data for two of the circles of latitude on the face of the earth. Another aspect of the iliac for which will be especially helpful in preparing weather forecasts might be its parallel processing hundreds of variables must all be taken into consideration to calculate a minute's change in the weather air pressure may affect humidity but humanity in turn may affect wind speed parallel processing of these variables and separate data blocks may be best suited to the essentially non-linear structure of numerical weather analysis Westfall of the Air Weather Service at Scott Air Force Base reveals the speed at which weather forecasts are now being contemplated. He compares a manual and computer based method for analysis of the weather.
Let me give you two examples First off simply. Entirely. Type forecasting and then the modern computer. I'm sure your listeners would already have recognized the numerous reports and. Location which is making the forecast. This is a very time consuming thing since there are a very limited number of rye or circus or wish to pass your reports. By the time the reports are received typically at the 1950 transmission which is a hundred words a minute it probably would be of the order of three hours before a sufficient number of reports for a given hour would be received in order to make a forecast. The next step would be to go through the analysis phase simply drawing a rather mapping if you will. That would take on the order of two hours. I left out the step of
plotting the reports on the maps of the forecasting and draw the weather chart now at about five to six hours after the observation time in a position to make a forecast. And this would be the amount of time required for the forecasts vary depending on whether he were forecasting something reasonably simple like the wind or something reasonably complex like whether or not there will be a tornado. But we might say that in general from time of observation to time a forecast about six hours in order to come up with it. 24 hour forecast from that point on however the 36 hour forecast or the 48 hour forecast or the 3 day forecast would come much faster and those would be available at say seven to eight hours. Now I think that Lister is well already have recognized that there is a cyclical thing. The observations it taken are taken at regular intervals and we look at the State of the atmosphere at
regular intervals. Typically 6 to 12 hours that there is a lot of just plain as we say don't work in getting the observations getting them located in their proper place on the earth and then going through the unlawful. This is where computers have helped us so much. We can get the reports by using computers for communications and to decode the reports to relate them in their proper place in the earth and to do the actual drawing of the weather map. You know the order of two to three hours. So we have for the time required to put out. I want to forget but just how accurate are these weather forecasts. The common man asks for reliable weather forecasts no matter how complex the procedure used to obtain it. Studies traditionally prepared weather forecasts in the by guess and by golly school have been compared with a forecast prepared by numerical analysis. This comparison has been a little difficult in recent years because the traditional weather man
has taken his own subjective judgment and coupled it with reports from centers using numerical analysis. Messi can hardly do worse than a numerical methods because he uses them to finalise his own just as it is not possible for that Dr. Katz to accept in terms of diet. It is an additional month or if it is an additional year we have the same problem. How do we define success. If we say that it will be raining at a campaign at 12 o'clock and it turns out that it is not ready until 2 o'clock but then you do get the rain has been. So our primary difficulty in judging accuracy of 40 50 finding what constitutes success. People who have made study the success of the meteorological profession as a whole and by that I include several as well as the military general they agree that we have about
85 percent of accuracy in forecasting. Still the two kinds of weather forecasts and come closer and closer together and the traditionally prepared forecasts have become more accurate since 1985 when the aid of numerical analysis was first made available. This increase in Eckersley follows a period of over 7 years when accuracy levels remained almost static. Thus it appears that the development of numerical weather analysis has brought the entire field of weather forecasting to a higher degree of reliability and has been more of an aid to mankind. Even the atmospheric conditions on other planets are being determined with the aid of computers observatory such as those that can't speak in Arizona are collecting vast amounts of
complex data. The photographs of Venus Mars and other planets indicate dancer's in the surface atmosphere and suggest certain shifts in these gases complex calculations reveal the proportional characteristics of these atmospheres and the chance that man could live on the surface of the planet. Information also comes from the satellites that circle the earth or travel into space. Mr. Westfall assesses their importance because of the satellite appearing all over the earth. Once or at least one side of the earth observing such a big area and a continuous nation the only way to handle the data is by using a computer to put it another way. It simply is too much. Data for the human to process so the data must be caused reduced by a computer to make it meaningful and then used in the analysis procedure again and then it means forecasting or prognosis procedure for links development in weather
observations of the space flights of tomorrow. He comments that we have within the last 5 years gotten to you. Requirements as not as weather as such but the entire environment including the so-called station fire although we speak of space and think of it as being an utter void there are still particles and various. Material I guess we could say in the so called space. This material comes from other planets. It's simply floating. Art comes from the sun and so on. It is. Well known but not well understood that this so-called space. Debris or space particles can turn into the Earth's atmosphere. Just how this occurs and this is being
deeply studied at the present time we have the facilities observing the sun on a regular basis. That is rather sun is a ball by radio by the usual BS. We also have. Facilities observing the very high happens here. More space area these areas become of increasing. And I bought off. Our satellite manned satellite activity take place and study. Sure that's correct. All right. Other planets still other projects are concerned with the solar flares of the sun. These flares may play a great role in the weather of the earth. Scientists are discovering relationships between the density and frequency of these flares and the weather on Earth. Solar disturbances may also be associated with radio blackouts and dangerous levels of radiation. Solar winds may also affect conditions in space. These
winds may streak away from the sun at speeds of over 100 million miles per hour. Satellites and spacecraft may be affected by these gales in outer space. Computers may even make it possible to control the weather in the future. Professor Benton Cho in the department of hydraulic engineering at the University of Illinois is now conducting experiments and rainfall. His work with runoff due to rainfall utilizes a network about assembly is regulated by computer in a 40 by 40 feet base and he can produce an intermittent spring shower or a monsoon clubber. Almost a quarter of a million drops can be made at once in this rain the storm center runoff from the basin can be measured in flood control can be determined. With the increased understanding of the weather available through the means of electronic data processing
man will know how to gauge and control the weather of his home planet he is juggling with the weather can be simulated in advance to avoid disastrous consequences. You may decrease deaths due to natural weather conditions and aid international projects to a quicker conclusion. Because of his ability to analyze the weather according to Mr. Westfall computers play a key role here in order to know what is likely to happen when the weather is modified. The best way we can get at a get it is to simulate it on a computer. Let me give you an example. Three three. From the Gulf of Mexico and along in a generally northeasterly direction. Or over the Atlantic Ocean and then comes down along Europe and serves to modify considerably or moderate the climate of Great Britain and other places.
If it were possible to block off the Gulf Stream so that it no longer warm current of water through the Atlantic Ocean it is undoubted. It is an undoubted fact that the climate of Great Britain would be greatly changed. Perhaps it would become a glacier. Just what would happen is not known and computers have the key here at least for the first guess. By simulating. Within them to see what would happen. We can think of numerous other examples of what would happen if we were to melt the entire ice cap over Greenland or it would happen if we were to block some of the ocean currents that influenced the west coast weather. We had suspicions about what would happen to the weather of the United States. With a computer we can make them more than suspicion and at least have a degree of science in
estimating the outcome. Do not follow. Follow the eye of a hurricane and the light wrinkles of a spring shower. A computer helps the meteorologist than the average citizen concerned about the chances of rain on the next program in this series. For professors at the University of Illinois discussed the broad implications of electronic data processing. They will examine its right to privacy. The greater efficiency it brings and the meaning behind the slogan of the computer age. Do not bend the staple or mutilate this card.
- Do Not Fold
- Episode Number
- Producing Organization
- University of Illinois
- Contributing Organization
- University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
- Other Description
- "Do Not Fold" is a program about the growing applications of computer technology. Each episode focuses on how different professions and sectors are using computers to explore new possibilities in their line of work. Interviewees discuss how they are incorporating new technology into their work, what these innovations mean for the future of their field, and how they may affect the general public.
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Producer: Johnson, Jiffy
Producing Organization: University of Illinois
Production Designer: Haney, Edna
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-19-15 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
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- APA: Do Not Fold; 15. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-500-np1wjm1f