Weather Inventions You Definitely Take For Granted

Over a hundred years ago, it was a lot tougher to coexist with weather. Technology wasn’t as innovative as it is today and weather instruments were either massively complicated or non-existent, making life unpredictable and far more dangerous. Luckily our world is full of creative and bright thinkers, and over the years people have created amazing inventions that help us capture, measure, and embrace the weather! Take a look at some of the best weather inventions ever created- some of which you use on a daily basis, and some of which you might take for granted.

Weather Warning Systems

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Before 1948, if people were in the path of a tornado or severe weather, they wouldn’t know it was coming until it was in their backyard. One day in 1948, someone came to their senses and realized there had to be a way to warn people of bad weather in the area. This idea accumulated to the first weather warning system, which essentially was a wailing siren that went off to alert people of the doom ahead. Thanks to the advancement of technology, now meteorologists can bring the warning system right into your living room through their broadcasts. Warning systems have drastically improved since the first one was created 69 years ago, and now people in the path of a tornado have a 13 minute advanced warning if it’s going to impact their area.

Windshield Wipers

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There are 1.2 million weather related accidents in USA every year, 73% of which happen on wet pavement and 46% that happen during rainfall. This is why windshield wipers are considered one of the most crucial weather inventions. It’s hard to imagine a time without windshield wipers since they’ve been standard on vehicles since 1920’s, but on rainy days it would be nearly impossible to see the road without them. (Don’t test that theory out, just take our word for it.) 

Alternative Energy

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The United States is trying to capture Earth’s energy in resourceful and creative ways, and it’s been a successful triumph! In regards to wind energy production, the country is home to 50,000 wind turbines across 40 states. What’s the city that receives the most wind? Contrary to popular belief, it is actually Amarillo, TX, not Chicago, IL! In fact, 4 of top 10 windiest cities in the country are located in Texas. Another form of energy being utilized is the power of the sun. If we could cover the entire area size of Spain in solar panels, it would create enough energy to power the world. Even more fascinating, the sun gives off enough energy in 15 seconds to power the entire world for 24 hours! 

Thermometer

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“What’s the temperature outside?” It’s a question we all ask nearly every day of our lives. The temperature shapes our clothing choices, activity choices, and everything in between, which is why the thermometer is one of the greatest weather inventions of all time. People die every year from being too cold (hypothermia) or too hot (hyperthermia), and although you should be able to use common sense to choose appropriate attire, it’s never a bad idea to pay close attention to what your trusty thermometer says.

Radar

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The invention of the radar changed the weather world forever, in the best way possible. Radar was originally invented to help spot enemy crafts, which it did, but it obviously had an underlying capability that has since been utilized by millions every day. In our world today, radar protects people, saves lives, and illustrates what’s going on in our atmosphere in a way no other tool can. Without radar, weather predictions would not be as accurate or easily obtainable, making it one of the most valuable weather inventions ever created.

Sun Protection

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Nowadays, wearing sunscreen when it’s hot and sunny outside is second nature. But could you imagine if sunscreen didn’t exist? Back in the 1930’s, instead of using sunscreen, there used to be “beach bags” people wore outside to protect against the sun’s harmful rays. Luckily in 1938, Franz Greiter created the first sunscreen lotion so people could ditch the body bag look at the beach. The sun can be extremely dangerous- up to 90% of skin cancers are caused by the sun exposure, and worldwide 3 million cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. So next time you go outside on a sunny day, take care of your skin by applying sunscreen and be thankful you don’t have to wear a literal bag over your body to protect it.

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Do you think any other weather inventions are worthy enough to make the list? Let us know below!


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6 Comments


  1. Hahaha, I don’t think those bags are helping anybody!

    I’m curious as to the other cities on the list of windy cities. Any in Maryland? It seems like all we get is wind..

    1. I think those bags were the precursor to saran wrapping a baked potato and placing them in a microwave ha.

      As for the windiest cities, the top 10 looks like this: Amarillo, TX; Rochester, MN; Lubbock, TX; Boston, MA; Oklahoma City, OK; Fargo, ND; Wichita, KS; Corpus Christi, TX; Abilene, TX; Buffalo, NY.

      1. Thanks Brandon! Some of those are surprising (Boston but not Chicago?!). Having a lot of wind in the plains makes sense, too.

  2. Of the things mentioned- I need windshield wipers the most, but love radar the best! (Wish I could decipher it like Dr. Forbes does.) Not mentioned, but used A LOT, a light-weight plastic snow shovel. I had one for over 20 years, used it here in the south for leaves! It floated away in a flood though…sigh… light-weight.