Jonathan Martin, PhD, is Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at UW-Madison. He is the author of Reginald Sutcliffe and the Invention of Modern Weather Systems Science, and appears regularly on WPR’s “Weather Guys” show.
Less than a century ago, a forecast of the weather for a couple of days was considered a practical impossibility. In the intervening decades a remarkable revolution has taken place such that today a weather forecast to 5 days is so routinely accurate as to be taken for granted. We are among the first humans in history with access to such precise predictions. This capability is among the most unheralded scientific advances of the last century. This talk recounts the life and scientific contributions of a leading intellectual figure of this revolution, Reginald Sutcliffe. His story exemplifies how education, practical urgency, and creative genius – Mobilized by an abiding curiosity – can conspire to solve even the most seemingly intractable problems.
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