The Norwegian School of Meteorology

Be proud, Norwegians. The science of meteorology and weather forecasting are based on what is commonly known as the Norwegian School of Meteorology. All of us who studied meteorology in college learned of Jacob Bjerknes, Carl-Gustav Rossby, Sverr...

Be proud, Norwegians. The science of meteorology and weather forecasting are based on what is commonly known as the Norwegian School of Meteorology. All of us who studied meteorology in college learned of Jacob Bjerknes, Carl-Gustav Rossby, Sverre Petterssen, Tor Bergeron and others; all followers of the great Vilhelm Bjerkness; all with meteorological formulas and theories now known by their hard-to-pronounce names.

Starting in 1917, Vilhelm Bjerknes and his assistants were the first to mathematically describe the motions of the atmosphere in a way that made prediction possible. They also developed the concepts of low- and high-pressure systems along with cold, warm, stationary and occluded fronts. Using careful observation and creative intuition, these great Norwegian scientists were the first to describe how weather systems work. Computers modelling came along much later, but the concepts in these mathematical models are based on their concepts.