Today is the anniversary of the horrible blizzard of 1888, which holds status as the worst storm to have ever hit the northern plains. The winter of 1888 was horrible anyway, and blizzard of 1888 was a killer storm that lasted several days and killed a fair number of people, and a huge number of cattle. There would have been very little warning. For most people, only the warning that being able to read the weather gives.
This week, my Iphone Weather Station App has been predicting a late week winter storm at the "severe" level. I suppose that this is what the National Weather Service has been declaring. Since I've had that App, there's been quite a few such advisory statements, but no storms that really meet that level, in my view. Indeed, it seems to me that recently that App has been wrong quite a bit, meaning the Weather Channel has been wrong. I'm beginning to disregard it, particularly the warnings.
Weather reports are so part of our regular lives now that its hard to imagine an era when they just didn't exist, but that has to have been the case not all that long ago. The ability to predict the weather has only really been around since the 1890s, when the science of meteorology really started to develop. When regular weather reports became newspaper items, I don't know. If anyone knows, I'd be curious to learn when that occurred, and a comment on it would be great. Regular weather reports became a newspaper feature, at any rate, by the 1930s, and I'm guessing earlier than that. They were suspended, however, during World War Two in order to deprive the Germans of weather information that would have been useful for German U-boats. That weather reports for the Continental US would be useful for submarines in the Atlantic seems surprising, but it shows how advanced meteorology already was. Indeed, the Germans landed weather reporting parties in Labrador, Greenland and Iceland in order to provide weather information, and at least one source I've read claims that the Germans did have some operatives who broadcast UHF weather observations from inside the Continental US.
Anyhow, we now can check predicted weather on our phones, radios, televisions and newspapers. The Weather Channel is actually fairly popular as a television channel, as odd as that would have seemed to people a couple of decades ago, when we watched for televised weather predictions on the nightly news. The Weather Channel has even taken up naming winter storms, like has been done with Hurricanes officially for a long time. Whether this just makes the routine mundane may be another question. So far, a lot of this winter's predicated severe weather here, hasn't been.
It's a far cry from 1888, however. At that time winter storms must have just hit with hardly any warning at all.