Charney, Jule Gregory

Charney, Jule Gregory

(1917–81) meteorologist; born in San Francisco. The son of Russian immigrants, he is remembered as the "father of modern meteorology" for his use of computers to generate forecasts (numerical weather), his mathematical models to describe weather and climate, and his theories of baroclinic instability. Following his doctorate, he studied with the famous Carl-Gustaf Rossby before traveling to the University of Oslo in Norway as a National Research Fellow. At the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey (1948–56), he and others pioneered the first computer-generated weather forecast using the ENIAC (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Calculator). This success prompted his establishing a Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit in Maryland, which generated daily predictions of gross climate and weather patterns. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1956–81) he chaired the Committee on International Meteorological Cooperation and helped organize the Global Atmospheric Research Program; their findings are expected to significantly advance understanding of the atmosphere.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.