History of Weather Forecasting

Erik Craft

Erik Craft is an Associate Professor of Economics and Philosophy, Politics, Economics and Law (PPEL) who has studied the history and economics of weather forecasting in the United States.

He can discuss the history of weather forecasting in the U.S. dating back to 1870 when President Ulysses S. Grant authorized the Secretary of War to establish a network of observation stations. He can also explain why the government, rather than private organizations, provided the first self-sustaining weather forecast service in the U.S., as well as the economic value of weather forecasting.

“The creation of a Federal weather organization in 1870 provided greater net social benefits than any alternative at that time,” says Craft. “Weather information services in the latter half of the nineteenth century possessed enough public-good characteristics to imply the efficiency of public provision.”

To connect with Craft, contact Cynthia Price, associate vice president for media and public relations, at cprice2@richmond.edu.