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THURSDAY NOVEMBER 2 - FRANKLIN'S 1743 STORM
While Benjamin Franklin was a keen observer, history shows that one of his
most famous weather observations may very well have been a bit of an accident.
You see, on this date back in 1743, Franklin was in Philadelphia, looking forward
to viewing a lunar eclipse. Little did he know that a strong storm - that may
have been a tropical storm - was moving up the coast. The storm arrived that
evening with thunder, lightning, wind, and heavy rain, preventing Franklin from
making his astronomical observation.
But later, he learned that the eclipse was seen farther northeast, in Boston,
just before a big storm arrived there. Franklin deduced that it was the same
storm that hit Philadelphia, and that it must have moved up the coast, from
southwest to northeast. This went against the popular thinking of the time.
You see, most folks just assumed that storms moved with the wind, and the wind
blew that day from the northeast. Amazingly, it would take almost a century for
Franklinís then-radical idea to be proven correct.