Desde el pluviómetro a la computadora, un siglo y medio midiendo el tiempo

Conversación obligada en pasillos y ascensores, el estado del tiempo fue desde siempre una inquietude humana y que, en nuestro país, desde hace hoy 150 años, tiene un basamento cientifico. Because exactly 150 years ago, on October 4, 1872, on the initiative of Domingo Faustino Sarmiento, what was initially called the “Officina Meteorológica Argentina” (OMA), currently the National Meteorological Service (SMN), was created, the third state agency in ser fundado a nivel mundial, ya que solo existían dependencias similares en Estados Unidos (desde 1870), y en Hungría (desde 1871). Of course, the forecasts did not exist for that time, and the elements that were used were very different from those that enabled the actual technology, although for that evolution, mucho tuvo que ver la Historia.

“Para la creación de aquella OMA – points out the current director of the SMN, and also the vice president of the World Meteorological Organization, Celeste Saulo – intervened the extraordinary vision of Sarmiento, who invited the American astronomer Benjamin Gould to create an astronomical observatory, and he was quien advirtió la necessidad de crear también un sistema articulado de toma de observaciones meteorológicas en un país tan grande”.

So it was that the founder and first director of the OMN, Benjamin Gould, set himself the task of writing a guide to make observations in a coordinated manner, but also of systematizing the annual publication of observations, creating 125 stations over the years. meteorológicas que conforman la Red Nacional, de las cuales 50 tienen ya más de 100 años.

Initially, the state of the weather was observed, but no forecasts were made, which began to be realized in 1904, when it was established that for the estimation of a future state, the initial state of the atmospheric system and the physical rules governing its behavior should be known. .

But before that, in 1887, a collaboration agreement was signed with the railroad companies for the installation and operation of a pluviometric network, where the railroads provided a fundamental function to measure the rain, and the result of the systematization of this coordinated work. en red, en 1902 se publió la primera carta del tiempo de toda Southamérica, consistente en un mapa del surcado por las isobaras e isotermas, es decir, por líneas de pressure y constant temperatures.

Another important milestone in the history of the actual SMN (which acquired its definitive name in 1945) was the adoption of its first Antarctic station in 1904, the Orcadas del Sur Observatory, created at the instance of the Irish expeditionary William Bruce, who founded it in one de sus intentos por llegar al polo, pero que luego transfirió al estado argentino, while at the moment the SMN has six estaciones antárticas desde se realizante importantes aportes a la actividad científica internacional.

Pero en cuanto a los prognosticos, los primeros se remontan a los años 40s, con las primeras cartas que se se realizaban empleando tecniques manuales que permitían predecir como podría estar el tiempo al día siguiente a partir de la evolución de los parameters del día.

“El centro de processing de datos -cuenta Sauro – contaba con una especie de computadoras que en realidad eran más bien simple teletypes que resultaban insufficiente para resolver los prognosticos numéricos. And at the world level, this is only advanced in the 1950s, with the first electronic computers of general purpose, that is, when a technology appears that allows solving the necessary equations.

LAS MEDICIONES DE HOY

From the year 2018, the forecast extends up to seven days, and allows warning the population of severe events up to three days in advance with the incorporation of a new early warning system, as well as the renovation of the IT infrastructure with the acquisition of supercomputers specifics for the execution of forecast models.

“In the elaboration of any type of forecast – explains meteorologist Cindy Fernández – the first thing you need is to measure the atmosphere. The meteorologists need to be constantly observing and taking measurements of it, both near the ground and in height, and the measurements that are known as conventional (temperature, precipitation, radiation) are the ones that are done in the field of observation, which is composed by the pluviometer, which measures the amount of rain and snow fall, and the heliofanograph, which measures the amount of hours with solar light, that is, direct radiation”.

Of course, there are great differences between the elements that are used in the past and now.

“The mechanical pluviometer – explains Fernández – has a jar with a millimeter ruler, where the data is recorded and the water is drawn, while the electronic one has channels like two spoons connected that pour the weight of the water into a container, storing data en la computadora, y por eso la tasa de precipitación, que es qué tan rápido lovió, no puede medirse con el mecánico. En cuanto al heliofanógrafo, se le coloca una faja de papel que el sol va quemando sin prenderse fuego y dejando marcado, es un mecanismo que tiene un montón de años, pero que no se rompe. In reality, all mechanical instruments have electronic equivalents, that is, a more modern version, but today they still use mechanical ones because they do not depend on energy and always function. Para el funcionamiento del electrónico hay que insurer connexion a Internet para transmitar los datos. Todos tienen sus pro y contras, pero ningún elemento se suplementa, sino que se complementa”.

Wind instruments are also found, such as the vane, which measures the speed of the wind and the anemometer, its intensity, which are about 10 meters high by international convention; y el abrigo meteorológico, una especie de casilla para proteger los termómetros que miden la humidity y temperatura del aire.

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