A pioneer in tropical meteorology: William Sharpe's Barbados weather journal, April-August 1680



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Chenoweth, M. and Vaquero, J. M. and García Herrera, Ricardo and Wheeler, D. (2007) A pioneer in tropical meteorology: William Sharpe's Barbados weather journal, April-August 1680. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, 88 (12). p. 1957. ISSN 0003-0007

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-88-12-1957


The first barometers in the Americas were provided by the Royal Society of London in 1677 to correspondents in the Caribbean Island of Barbados. Colonel William Sharpe of Barbados was the first person in the Americas to make daily observations of the weather using a meteorological instrument (other than a wind vane) and made the first known measurements of barometric pressure within the circulation of a hurricane on 12 August 1680. His record provides new insight into the early history of the barometer and early perceptions of tropical weather, vindicates the hypothesis that the barometer would prove useful in detecting hurricanes, and contributes to Edmund Halley's understanding of the empirical distinctions between the Tropics and temperate zones. Sharpe's name and contributions, previously unknown to the meteorological community, can now be properly recognized.

Item Type:Article
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©2007 American Meteorological Society.
The authors thank M. Molloy of Elkridge, Maryland, for translation of the French document and Joe D. Elms and Larry Nicodemus, National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina, for providing the modern Barbados data. Gill Jackson of The Royal Society generously provided assistance with the Sharpe manuscript record.

Uncontrolled Keywords:Meteorology; Atmospheric Sciences
Subjects:Sciences > Physics > Astrophysics
Sciences > Physics > Astronomy
ID Code:34708
Deposited On:09 Dec 2015 16:42
Last Modified:10 Dec 2018 15:05

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