William Napier Shaw

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shaw, William Napier


Born Mar. 4, 1854, in Birmingham; died Mar. 23, 1945, in London. English meteorologist. Member of the Royal Society of London (1891).

After graduating from Cambridge University in 1877, Shaw worked at the university. In 1900 he began working for the British Meteorological Council, and in 1905 he was named director of the Meteorological Office, where he remained until 1920. From 1920 to 1924 he was a professor of meteorology at the Imperial College in London. Shaw was president of the International Meteorological Committee from 1907 to 1923.

Shaw’s principal works dealt with dynamic meteorology. Shaw studied the origin of cyclones. In 1925 he proposed a method of investigating the vertical temperature and moisture distributions in the atmosphere by means of adiabatic diagrams.


The Life History of Surface Air Currents. (With R. G. K. Lempfert.) London, 1906.
Manual of Meteorology, 2nd ed., vols. 1–4. (With A. Elaine.) Cambridge, 1932–42.
Forecasting Weather, 3rd ed. London, 1940.
The Air and Its Ways. Cambridge, 1923.
The Drama of Weather, 2nd ed. Cambridge, 1939.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.