On this day, in 1838, Cleveland Abbe was born. Why does it matter? Well, this established astronomer and meteorologist was the only one that had any forecasting experience based on scientific principals when he worked for the U.S. Army Signal Corps. Being the only source of any sort of forecast, or as he called them, probabilities, he was nicknamed “Old Probabilities”, or “Old Prob” for short. The foundation of his public weather service served to be the model for the National Weather Service that we know today.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Abbe was known for his “congeniality, his willingness to instruct, and his piercing inquiries that continually challenged the intellect of his colleagues.”