Like everyone else, Benjamin Franklin was affected by weather; but unlike most people of his time, he tried to explain the reasons for various weather-related phenomena, and even discovered some ways to predict the weather. One of Franklin's first recorded observations of weather patterns occurred in October of 1743, when he planned to observe an eclipse of the moon. As Franklin prepared to watch the eclipse in Philadelphia, a storm moved in and clouds obscured the moon. Later he learned that people in Boston, hundreds of miles northeast of Philadelphia, were able to see the eclipse because the storm didn't arrive there until several hours after the eclipse. Franklin became intrigued and continued gathering observations and eventually determined the direction of movement for storms. He was the first to observe that storms can move in an opposite direction from the direction of the wind. In other words, although the winds in a nor'easter blow from the northeast, the storm is actually moving from the southwest. In trying to explain how this weather pattern worked, Franklin accurately theorized about the existence of high and low pressure and proposed one of the first correct explanations for storm movement in the northern hemisphere. Franklin was interested in climate-related phenomena throughout his life. Just six years before his death, he published a number of "Meteorological Imaginations and Conjectures." For example, he was puzzled that hail and ice could occur in the summer time. While having no way to test his ideas, he correctly deduced that the upper atmosphere was much colder than the air below it. Moist air flowing into the upper atmosphere could produce ice that could fall to earth before it melted. He also wrote about fog, wind direction, insulation, and heat radiation. He kept extensive daily records pf the weather wherever he was. In 1751 he was one of the founders of the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia and urged that they keep records of the weather each day. On October 3, 1769 it was recorded that snow fell in Philadelphia and covered the ground the buildings. This still stands as the earliest covering of snow in Philadelphia.
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