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new_zealand_history:d_robert_fitzroy [2011/07/08 16:55]
tel
new_zealand_history:d_robert_fitzroy [2011/07/08 17:24]
tel
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 FitzRoy’s voyage home was notable for a storm he forecast when the ship was anchored for the night in calm weather in Magellan Straits. Both FitzRoy’s barometers were falling fast but the captain ignored his warnings and retired below deck. Eventually, a young officer agreed to put out a heavy anchor on a heavy chain. When the storm struck at 2am, the heavy chain broke but tangled around the lighter chain. This was all that saved the ship from crashing into rocks and foundering with the loss of all onboard. ​ FitzRoy’s voyage home was notable for a storm he forecast when the ship was anchored for the night in calm weather in Magellan Straits. Both FitzRoy’s barometers were falling fast but the captain ignored his warnings and retired below deck. Eventually, a young officer agreed to put out a heavy anchor on a heavy chain. When the storm struck at 2am, the heavy chain broke but tangled around the lighter chain. This was all that saved the ship from crashing into rocks and foundering with the loss of all onboard. ​
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 +For the next years of his life, FitzRoy returned to his interest in the sea and the navy. He foresaw that the future of the Royal Navy lay in steamships, and he desired another command. In July 1848, he was assigned to oversee the outfitting of a new naval frigate: HMS Arrogant. Arrogant was a hybrid, a sailing ship equipped with a screw propeller turned by a steam engine. When the ship was commissioned the following March, FitzRoy was appointed its captain and set sail on a shakedown cruise.
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 +During this time, FitzRoy, however, fell into a "black dog" depression and resigned to settle his affairs and regain his health, according to his own accounts. But this was his last command. His hopes of another were dashed by the excess of captains for ships in the Royal Navy. But while this may have been unsettling for FitzRoy, it paved the way for his place in meteorological history.
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 +===== Weather Forecasting =====
  
 The chance to develop his ideas on weather forecasting came to FitzRoy in 1854 when he was appointed Meteorological Statist to the Board of Trade. Initially tasked with compiling weather statistics for each part of the globe from ship’s logs, he took advantage of the invention of the telegraph to initiate forecasting. Barometers were distributed around the coast and their readings telegraphed to FitzRoy’s office every morning along with wind and temperature observations. Within hours a forecast would be telegraphed back. If FitzRoy thought a storm imminent, warning symbols of drums and cones were displayed from a mast.  The chance to develop his ideas on weather forecasting came to FitzRoy in 1854 when he was appointed Meteorological Statist to the Board of Trade. Initially tasked with compiling weather statistics for each part of the globe from ship’s logs, he took advantage of the invention of the telegraph to initiate forecasting. Barometers were distributed around the coast and their readings telegraphed to FitzRoy’s office every morning along with wind and temperature observations. Within hours a forecast would be telegraphed back. If FitzRoy thought a storm imminent, warning symbols of drums and cones were displayed from a mast. 
new_zealand_history/d_robert_fitzroy.txt · Last modified: 2011/07/08 17:26 by tel
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