Today, February 5th, we celebrate one of our nation’s most important holidays - National Weatherperson's Day. In what is truly a very revered occasion, we take time out to honor those men and women who bring joy to schoolchildren when they announce a snow day, are the bearers of bad news when severe weather is about to strike and are prognosticators second only to Jimmy the Greek in their ability to read a crystal ball.
Well maybe that is going a bit overboard. In truth no one probably notices it is National Weatherman's Day other than weather geeks, it isn’t even a real holiday and no one really ‘honors’ them other than to cuss them out for not getting the forecast right. But, what the heck, everyone should have a holiday for themselves – even weather geeks and weather divas!
So how exactly did February 5th become National Weatherperson's Day?
February 5th commemorates the birth of John Jeffries who was one of America’s first weather observers. Born in Boston on this date in 1745, Mr. Jeffries led a rather interesting life. In terms of weather, in 1774 he began taking weather measurements in Boston and in 1784 began using a balloon for weather observations. He would continue to take weather measurements until 1816.
More than weather though, John Jeffries is sometimes considered to be the first American to fly. Following up on a balloon flight in November 1784, Jeffries accompanied Jean-Pierre Blanchard on his balloon trip across the English Channel in 1785. He was a physician, scientist and military surgeon.
While he may have been an accomplished weatherman and balloonist, he wasn’t very good at choosing sides in a war. He was a British loyalist and served in the British Army during the American Revolution. Obviously that didn’t turn out so well for him.
All joking aside, weather is a serious business.
As the National Weather Service says, "Many of us take weather information for granted. Turn on a light switch, you get light. Turn on your television or radio, or check a web site and you get the weather forecast. It’s easy to forget that around the clock, dedicated meteorologists and weathercasters are vigilantly creating forecasts to help you plan your day, and issuing warnings to help keep you safe."
So there you have it. Be sure to tell your favorite weather geek "happy National Weatherperson's Day" and maybe pick them up a gift at WeatherGeekStuff.com. If you are interested in helping us launch the first annual National Weatherman's Day Parade, let us know!