Fascinated by the events that “take place in the region nearest to the motion of the stars,” sometime around 340 BC Aristotle wrote a philosophical treatise called Meteorologica that identified patterns and proposed theories about weather phenomena.
Until the 19 century, weather forecasting was limited to isolated observation of localized weather. The invention of the telegraph jumpstarted weather forecasting by enabling information to be compared on a large scale. FOr the first time, data across distant geographic locations could be collected, aggregated, and analyzed. We’re still concerned with “the falling of thunderbolts and with whirlwinds and fire-winds” today, but current weather prediction relies on global data and robust models. In the same way that the telegraph sparked exponential advances in forecasting, space-based data collection via nanosatellites enables new and better methods of weather prediction.