Progress in most fields of knowledge is usually made in a stepwise fashion. Periods of slow advance are suddenly followed by periods of rapid surges. Frequently a surge has been brought about by a single discovery or by the development of a new idea or instrument. In the field of physics, for example, the invention of the cyclotron led to rapid advances in nuclear physics. In meteorology the development of a balloon-borne instrument that could telemeter back pressure, temperature, and humidity information led to an explosive advancement in our knowledge of the atmosphere. In more recent years the high-speed electronic computer has revolutionized almost all fields of scientific research (including meteorology).
The introduction of radar has led to a tremendous step forward in cloud and rainfall observations. Since the end of the war, when military radar was turned to peaceful uses, we have learned a great deal about almost all types of weather. Improved weather-observing radars have been built for use on the ground and in the air.
The purpose of this short book is to introduce students and laymen to radar and to acquaint them with its applications as a weather-observing instrument.