Last Update: 12/15/95

National Weather Service History

In 1870, President Ulysses S. Grant signed a joint resolution of Congress authorizing the Secretary of War to establish a national weather service. Later that year, the first systematized, synchronous weather observations ever taken in the U.S. were made by "observer sergeants" of the Army Signal Service.

Today, 125 years later, thousands of weather observations are made hourly and daily by government agencies, volunteer/ citizen observers, ships, planes, automatic weather stations and earth-orbiting satellites with the mission of protecting life and property.