“The Weather Machine” is Andrew Blum’s new book on the history of weather prediction and the amazingly complex enterprise that provides us with our weather predictions today. Meteorology played an enormously important role in World War II. Both the Allies and the Nazis were willing to undertake great risk and expense in order to take accurate weather data readings. Even long before that, 19th-century telegraph operators were actively communicating with each other about the weather in various parts of the country, allowing them to make increasingly sophisticated and accurate forecasts about large-scale weather patterns.
- Stagg was a meteorologist for the western forces invading Normandy and on June 4, 1944, he had the task of convincing the army to postpone D Day operations.
- The launch had some conditions that had to be fulfilled and some of them were that there should be a full moon to see German defense forces.
- On the day of the scheduled action, Stagg was predicting that a storm was coming that would jeopardize the intended operation.
“A few hours later, Stagg had better news. Allied weather stations were reporting a ridge of high pressure that would reach the beaches of Normandy on June 6th. The weather wouldn’t be ideal, but it would be good enough to proceed. Eisenhower gave the order to reschedule the invasion.”