Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast of the United States in October 2012, causing $65bn of damage. Remarkably, weather forecasters managed to predict its impact on the US eight days in advance, when it was barely even a storm.
How did forecasts get to be so good? It’s a story that begins with the invention of the telegraph and ends with supercomputers.
We talk to Andrew Blum, author of The Weather Machine (£16.99, Bodley Head), about the history of weather forecasting, why we shouldn’t trust the icons on our weather apps, and whether we’ll ever have an accurate minute-by-minute forecast.
He speaks to BBC Science Focus online assistant Sara Rigby.
Listen to more episodes of the Science Focus Podcast which we think you will find interesting:
- What’s going on with the weather? – Dann Mitchell
- Could leaving nature to its own devices be the key to meeting the UK’s climate goals? – Mark Lynas
- Can we really predict when doomsday will happen? – William Poundstone
- What if the Earth’s magnetic field died? – Jim Al-Khalili
- Why is the magnetic north pole moving? – Ciaran Beggan
- Are we facing an insect apocalypse? – Brad Lister