The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast

The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast

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From the acclaimed author of Tubes, a lively and surprising tour of the infrastructure behind the weather forecast, the people who built it, and what it reveals about our climate and our planet

The 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 these quotidian interactions is one of the most expansive machines human beings have ever constructed—a triumph of science, technology and global cooperation. But what is this ‘weather machine’ and who created it? 

In The Weather Machine, Andrew Blum takes readers on a fascinating journey through an everyday miracle. In a quest to understand how the forecast works, he visits old weather stations and watches new satellites blast off. He follows the dogged efforts of scientists to create a supercomputer model of the atmosphere and traces the surprising history of the algorithms that power their work. He discovers that we have quietly entered a golden age of meteorology—our tools allow us to predict weather more accurately than ever, and yet we haven’t learned to trust them, nor can we guarantee the fragile international alliances that allow our modern weather machine to exist.

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 relationships with technology, the planet, and the global community. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781982662844
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/25/2019
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 764,754
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.70(h) x (d)

About the Author

Andrew Blum is a journalist and the author of Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet, the first book-length look at the physical infrastructure of the Internet. Tubes has been translated into ten languages, and has become a crucial reference for journalists, politicians, and entrepreneurs eager to understand how the Internet works. Blum’s writing about architecture, design, technology, urbanism, art, and travel has appeared in numerous publications, including Wired, Popular ScienceVanity Fair, and the New York Times.

Table of Contents

Prologue 1

Part I Calculation 9

1 Calculating the Weather 11

2 The Forecast Factories 31

Part II Observation 43

3 The Weather on Earth 45

4 Looking Down 61

5 Going Around 81

6 Blasting Off 93

Part III Simulation 109

7 The Mountaintop 111

8 The Euro 121

9 The App 145

10 The Good Forecast 157

Part IV Preservation 163

11 The Weather Diplomats 165

Acknowledgments 183

Notes 185

Selected Bibliography 197

Index 199

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The Weather Machine: A Journey Inside the Forecast 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous 8 months ago
I absolutely loved The Weather Machine. Not only did Blum discuss super interesting issues in relation to the global weather machine, he did so in a way that was entertaining and fun to read. I feel like I have a much better sense of how the global meteorological system developed and currently functions. If you want to learn more about how the forecast makes it to your phone, I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Blum’s "Tubes," changed my interaction with the internet. Now with "The Weather Machine," Blum has given me a more nuanced appreciation of long range weather prediction and how to interpret the data on my weather apps. Now I make informed multiple daily decisions about the practical impact of the weather on how I plan days in advance and what I wear when I move about today. "The Weather Machine" is a great narrative of the history of the development of today’s models and makes the case for the premise of a collaborative worldwide enterprise that uses amazing amounts of data, modeling long range forecasts and continuously adjusting the model based on what weather actually occurred.
Anonymous 12 months ago
The Weather Machine is an interesting and lively book about the history of weather prediction and how we got to where we are today. It changed my way of thinkIng about the daily forecast. I recommend it to anyone who worries about the weather, talks about the weather, or is influenced by the weather: pretty much all of us!