Atmospheric Sciences | University of Illinois Archives

Name: Atmospheric Sciences

Historical Note:

In 1947 a meteorology program was initiated by the Water Survey for the purpose of studying the rainfall resources of the state by use of radar.1 The Survey entered into a cooperative program with the U.S. Weather Bureau in 1954, whereby the state climatologist moved from offices in Springfield to the Water Survey in Champaign,2 and Meteorology (previously part of the Engineering section) became one of the Survey's four technical sections.3 In 1964 the section included units for Hail Studies, Precipitation Physics, Rainfall Studies, the State Climatologist, and Climatology and Weather Records.4 In a 1965 reorganization, Meteorology became the Atmospheric Sciences Section, one of five technical sections of the Water Survey.5 The scope of research of Atmospheric Sciences included cloud physics, raindrop growth process, rainfall variations, severe storms, and techniques involving weather modification.6 In 1980 the Atmospheric Sciences Section had seven units for aerosol chemistry, precipitation physics, precipitation chemistry, rainfall studies, weather modification, and weather records.7 A reorganization of the Water Survey in 1981 left Atmospheric Chemistry (including precipitation chemistry) and Meteorology as two of seven technical sections.8 The Meteorology Section became the Climatology and Meteorology Section in 1983,9 and the Climate and Meteorology Section in 1987.10 In a further reorganization in 1990, Atmospheric Sciences became one of three technical divisions of the Water Survey (atmospheric chemistry is now part of the Chemistry Division). In 1992 the Division had offices for Air Quality, Applied Climatology, Cloud and Precipitation Research, and Precipitation Quality.11

1. Illinois Blue Book 1955-56, p. 669; Illinois State Water Survey; History and Activities, 1965, p.4.

2. Illinois Blue Book 1955-56, p. 669; Illinois State Water Survey: History and Activities, 1965, p. 4.

3. Staff and Student Directory 1954-55, p. 52.

4. Staff and Student Directory 1964-65, p. xlvii.

5. Illinois Blue Book 1965-66, p. 746; Staff Directory 1965-1966, p. xlviii.

6. Illinois State Water Survey: History and Activities, 1965, revised 1968, p. 10.

7. Staff and Student Directory 1980-1981, p. 37.

8. Staff and Student Directory 1981-1982, p. 38.

9. Staff and Student Directory 1983-1984, p. 40.

10. Staff and Student Directory 1987-1988, p. 49.

11. Staff and Student Directory 1992-1993, p. 73.

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