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Douglas R. Allen

The genesis of meteorology at the University of Chicago is reviewed in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Institute of Meteorology. The Institute of Meteorology was founded in October 1940 under the leadership of Carl Rossby and Horace Byers. Although previous attempts failed due to lack of resources, the imminent need for meteorologists in aviation and long-range weather forecasting, particularly for the nation's military needs, provided sufficient motivation for the program, and a $15,000 donation by Sewell Avery provided the necessary funds to get the program started. This article adds to Byers' 1975 account of the founding of the Institute by documenting the exchange of letters in 1939 between C. Rossby, Karl T. Compton (president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Arthur H. Compton (professor of Physics at Chicago), and Henry Gale (dean of Physical Sciences at Chicago) regarding the possibility of establishing a meteorology program at Chicago.

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