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.

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