What were Benjamin Franklin’s contributions to meteorology?

Weather Prediction Read more from
Chapter Climate and Weather

Benjamin Franklin, who is said to have discovered electricity by flying a kite in a storm, made the important discovery that low pressure systems caused the atmosphere to circulate in a rotating pattern. He made this discovery in 1743, after unsuccessfully attempting to view an eclipse on October 21. There was a storm in Philadelphia at the time, but he later learned that the skies were clear in Boston that day. He then found out that the storm that had been in Philadelphia traveled to Boston the next day. From this information, he surmised that the storm was traveling in a clockwise manner from southwest to northeast. Franklin thus concluded that the low pressure system was causing the storm to move in this manner.


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