The barocyclonometer, a hurricane detection relic from an age of unrest and exploration – Hurricane Research Division1 min read
NOAA has a long history, dating back to 1807 with the founding of the Survey of the Coast. That means there’s a lot of historic gems laying around the “attic,” such as old scientific equipment, photos, and documents. NOAA’s Heritage staff posts interesting finds as they sift through NOAA’s past. Maybe it’s a cool photo that hasn’t been seen in a while, or perhaps it’s a recently discovered item retrieved from a forgotten corner.
This instrument in NOAA’s heritage collection is a barocyclonometer that may have been used by U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey ships in the Philippines in the early 20th century to detect typhoons. These ships were charting the more than 7,600 islands of the Philippines after it became a U.S. protectorate at the conclusion of the Spanish-American War. Ship captains did not have today’s technology and needed barocyclonometers to get their ships out of harm’s way. Learn more about it here.
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