The first barometers in the Americas were provided by the Royal Society of London in 1677 to correspondents in the Caribbean Island of Barbados. Colonel William Sharpe of Barbados was the first person in the Americas to make daily observations of the weather using a meteorological instrument (other than a wind vane) and made the first known measurements of barometric pressure within the circulation of a hurricane on 12 August 1680. His record provides new insight into the early history of the barometer and early perceptions of tropical weather, vindicates the hypothesis that the barometer would prove useful in detecting hurricanes, and contributes to Edmund Halley's understanding of the empirical distinctions between the Tropics and temperate zones. Sharpe's name and contributions, previously unknown to the meteorological community, can now be properly recognized.
Independent Scholar, Elkridge, Maryland
Departamento de Física Aplicada, Escuela Politécnica, Universidad de Extremadura, Cáceres, Spain
Departamento de Física de la Tierra II, Facultad de CC Física, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain
Department of Geography, University of Sunderland, Sunderland, United Kingdom