The Weather Machine

The Weather Machine➮ [Read] ➪ The Weather Machine By Andrew Blum ➺ – From the acclaimed author of Tubes a lively and surprising tour through the global network that predicts our weather the people behind it and what it reveals about our climate and our planetThe weathe From the acclaimed author of Tubes a lively and surprising The Weather ePUB ✓ tour through the global network that predicts our weather the people behind it and what it reveals about our climate and our planetThe weather is the foundation of our daily lives It’s a staple of small talk the app on our smartphones and often the first thing we check each morning Yet behind all these humble interactions is the largest and most elaborate piece of infrastructure human beings have ever constructed—a triumph of both science and global cooperation But what is The Weather Machine and who created itIn The Weather Machine Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey through the people places and tools of forecasting exploring how the weather went from something we simply observed to something we could actually predict As he travels across the planet he visits some of the oldest and most important weather stations and watches the newest satellites blast off He explores the dogged efforts of forecasters to create a supercomputer model of the atmosphere while trying to grasp the ongoing relevance of TV weather forecastersIn the increasingly unpredictable world of climate change correctly understanding the weather is vital Written with the sharp wit and infectious curiosity Andrew Blum is known for The Weather Machine pulls back the curtain on a universal part of our everyday lives illuminating our changing relationships with technology the planet and our global community .


The Weather Machine ePUB ¹ The Weather  ePUB ✓
  • Kindle Edition
  • 193 pages
  • The Weather Machine
  • Andrew Blum
  • 06 January 2014

10 thoughts on “The Weather Machine

  1. PvOberstein says:

    Did you know that in modern meteorology computer simulations are important than weathermen looking at the clouds? Did you know that we rely on complex and expensive worldwide networks of sensors to gather the data that make weather forecasts? Did you know that coordinating the collection and distribution of that information is complicated? Wait you did? If so then you can safely skip The Weather Machine by Andrew Blum which is about as thin and light as a cirrostratus cloud at high noonI dunno this book just weirdly bummed me out by how mediocre it is Blum promises “a fascinating journey through an everyday miracle” but that journey takes the reader to like the curb outside their house We learn that there are geosynchronous and lunar orbiting satellites which are better at collecting different types of data that go into weather forecasts Sure hope you don’t want to know much about what those differences are At one point we’re offered a glimpse at the step by step process by which the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts ECMWF which has probably the best model in the world actually computes its predictions Blum describes like one or two steps and then skips to the conclusion A good chunk of a chapter discusses the worrying possibility of private corporations controlling weather forecasting without once discussing the abomination that is AccuWeather and its lobbyists’ attacks on the American National Weather ServiceThe book discusses a few things well namely the early history of meteorology and the weirdly outsized role Norway played in it There’s a little bit on the use of meteorology as a ‘bridge’ in the Cold War It discusses how a low of the funding for multi billion dollar sensor platforms was justified by citing the military need for accurate weather forecasts although why it mentions but never discusses probably the most militarily significant forecast in history – D Day in 1944 – is beyond me And it reminds the reader that whatever jokes at the expense of the weatherman you want to make – weather forecasts have objectively been getting better and better for decades nowI really really am not a weather geek but I knew most of the interesting bits before I read them and there was no elaboration on the things I actually did want to about And while I’m usually the last person in the world to complain about this there is way too much descriptive text and nowhere near enough information Take Blum’s visit to ECMWF H in ReadingThe cafeteria had been busy in the morning The cafeteria had been busy at lunch The cafeteria was busy again in the afternoon There were two high uality automatic coffee machines one with watery fair trade the other with dark roast espresso I fished a porcelain demitasse from a dishwater rack and moved to the back of the scrum of scientists pushing toward the coffee robots The scientists filled their cups and headed back to their rectangular tables sueezed together like army cadets leaving neither an empty seat nor a sliver of silence as the low winter sun shone between the clouds and through the big windowsI’m pretty sure my eyes glazed over twice reading that Seriously who cares? Less discussion of the cafeteria on the supercomputers please The book’s only 181 pages long it just can’t afford to have that much puffing But it does Everywhere Recommend reading The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis instead which is what I’d really hoped this would be like

  2. Kelly says:

    A short journey across the world about how weather is forecasted with a chapter on the history to begin it It was fine but wasn't exactly what I'd hoped for insight into where and how forecasting connects to the humans who experience the weather itself and how that connects to changes in forecasting due to climate change I could have had another 100 pages in this little book to get that since it all relates Although it touches on the privatization of forecasting I wished for like The Coming Storm offered Audio was fine

  3. Bookwoman67 says:

    Unfortunately I was disappointed in this book I had anticipated for so long Admittedly I do not read a lot of science as I can find it difficult to understand with my background in the humanities I was hoping for that rare jewel a book that makes science approachable to the layperson and links it to daily life Like weather forecasting right?It wasn't that the book was difficult to understand it was like there just wasn't much there Aside from learning who creates the European model referred to by forecasters I felt like I didn't actually learn much It was like a magazine article that went on too long Rather than expanding on the concepts weather forecasting uses on the ground observations satellite observations and computer calculations the author simply cited example after example and name after name of these instances And the actual models were basically dismissed as lots of complicated computer calculations not going to go thereMost disappointing was that other than mentioning the use of the now ubiuitous smartphone weather app all this forecasting improvement developed in the last hundred years was never related to real life Predict tornadoes and warn a town? Save a few thousand people from a hurricane compared to the 1900 Galveston storm or the 1935 Labor Day Category 5? Nope nothing about thatI really wanted to like this book It could have been so much

  4. Pete says:

    The Weather Machine A Journey Inside the Forecast 2019 by Andrew Blum explores how modern weather forecasts are made Blum is a journalist who has written for The New Yorker The Wall Street Journal and Wired and various other magazines The Weather Machine picks a subject that is incredible than we realise and something we take for granted The fact that it is possible to predict the weather with impressive accuracy 3 4 days out is absolutely amazing It's something we've come to take for granted but it's a super human exercise in computation It's interesting that when we consider AI we don't even consider that predicting weather 2 3 days out well is something that humans simply couldn't do but that a machine calibrated with data from sensors around and above the world can do In The Weather Machine Blum explores how this can be done He goes through the history of weather forecasting with people figuring out how it could be done before they had the computational ability to do so With the advent of computers this huge achievement became possible and routine Blum looks at the satellites the forecasters the computers and the international organisations that make this possible  The point is also made that the fact that we can forecast tornados and hurricanes accurately is something that saves livesThe Weather Machine is a well written clever book that provides a view on the incredible achievement that is the weather forecast It's really a very good book 

  5. Donna Hines says:

    Are you aware that we use sensors computer simulations to gather meteorological data in effectively processing the information that is distributed worldwide?If you did than the rest of this book probably won't help you all that much as it's mostly fluff and not very extensive or for that matter interestingIt does touch upon the Euro Model or ECMWF European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasts but the intro level first or second step is not what many readers might have hoped to receiveA good portion of the book is about the corporate giants trying to take over the weather apps such as Accu Weather in controlling weather forecasting while simultaneously lobbying attacks on the National Weather Service which by the way did you know you can sign up to become a weather spotter volunteer? If not you welcome We do delve into the history of predicting the weather from the Day Day to the Cold War and beyond in an attempt to remind readers just how fare we've come or in some cases in hopes of getting the monkey off their backs with all the weather jokesEither way it wasn't uite as informative as I'd hoped with all these advancements to discuss and for that reason I gave it the three star rating

  6. pianogal says:

    This one was good I was afraid it was gonna be dry but it really wasn't Could have had a little link with big storms and forecasting but overall it was a good read

  7. Dave Reads says:

    I’ve always been a bit of a science nerd and I remember that when I was a middle schooler I wanted to be a meteorologist Then I found out that there was a lot of math involved so I had to change plans But I’m still a weather junkie and couldn’t wait to read “The Weather Machine a Journey Inside The Forecast” by Andrew Blum We learn about how super computers to generate weather models that guide the preparation of forecasts Models are continuously updated as actual data is added It’s a fascinating look at How forecast relay on world wide measurements and sophisticated algorithms Decades ago the ability to predict weather 48 hours ahead of time was largely a guess while the 1 week and 10 day forecasts are increasing in accuracy Governments of many nations have traditionally shared weather data that goes into these models but Bloom shares his concerns that privatization puts future developments into jeopardy as well as what happens if governments no longer invest in measurements and the sharing of dataIf you are interested in the scienceand politicsof weather I'd recommend this bookMemorable uote The weather machine has to be a global system and it won’t work any other way At its heart is an euilibrium between the things nations do for themselves and the things they contribute to systems that supersede their borders We are many countries on one planet

  8. Curren says:

    I really wanted to like this book It did have some interesting factoids such as early Morse code operators sharing weather and how Weather Underground started But other than that is was dreadfully boring I did the audiobook and the narrator was decent There were parts where the author described scientists and how they collected data but I would have liked to hear about the actually science of what they collected and how example how is air pressure measured? It seemed like the book was missing substanceI guess if you are really into weather and specifically how AI and modern scenic collects weather data this book might be worth a read as an introduction but you won’t walk away as an expert For the average person who wants an interesting book to read this may not be the book for you

  9. Ken says:

    As a retired Navy Meteorologist I would have gave it 4 stars if the author had included at least one chapter or even several paragraphs about the military contributions to the weather machine Five stars if he would have provided detail and examples of the euipment euations and models themselves and less detail about the various buildings offices cafeterias coffee shops that he visited while researching the book Other than that it was a good fairly broad brush stroke similar to TV weather forecasts of the beginnings growth and inner workings of how an accurate weather forecast out to about 5 to 7 days is now available to anyone anywhere at any time

  10. John Kaufmann says:

    I loved the first chapter or two as the author provided historical context for weather forecasting and how it developed But by the time he got to about the 1980s the focus was on weather satellites the minor differences between them and too many technical details and how the advancement of high speed computing and the collection and storage of large volumes of data has allowed some of the great strides that have been made in forecasting I learned very little about how actual weather patterns can be read or about what they have learned about weather from these great information gathering and processing tools

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