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Science Environmental Science

Meteorological Instruments

Third edition

by (author) W.E.K. Middleton & A.F. Spilhaus

University of Toronto Press
Initial publish date
Feb 2019
Environmental Science, Meteorology & Climatology, Scientific Instruments
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    Publish Date
    Feb 2019
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Since its first appearance in 1941, this book has remained, through various editions and reprintings, the standard, indeed the only modern work in English in its field. This third edition, completely reset, includes descriptions of the newer devices which have come into use in upper-atmosphere sounding, electronic techniques for wind finding, thunderstorm location, and through the renewed interest in meterorological observations from aircraft. A number of new illustrations have been added.


The authors have followed the pattern of the earlier editions in presenting examples found in regular weather service. Some attention has been given, however, to new techniques which, though not widely in use at the present time, show such promise as to deserve the studen'ts attention. A general treatment of the application of radar, radio direction finders, and radiosoundes to meteorology has been included.


Of the previous edition the bulletin of the American Meteorological Society said: "This is the first general textbook on the subject in English for more than half a century .... While the book is indispensable for reference for the practising meterorologist, the needs of the student are met by an adequate presentation of theoretical topics."

About the authors

W.E. Knowles Middleton was associated with the National Research Council from 1946 until 1963. He is the author of The History of the Barometer, The Experimenters: A Study of the Accademia del Cimento, Physics at the National Research Council of Canada, 1929-1952 (WLU Press, 1979), Lorenzo Magalotti at the Court of Charles II (WLU Press, 1980), and Radar Development in Canada: The Radio Branch of the National Research Council 1939-1946 (WLU Press, 1981). He has received honorary degrees from Boston University and McGill University.

W.E.K. Middleton's profile page

ATHELSTAN F. SPILHAUS is Dean of the Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota. He was formerly head of the Department of Meteorology, New York University.

A.F. Spilhaus' profile page

Editorial Reviews

" …. Middleton has with his instrument book made an excellent contribution … It is clearly written and thorough in the portion of the field that is covered. One feels that it is not a re-hash or digest of older contributions but a book written by an expert in the field of instruments. For the training of students it fills a badly-felt need. The book is practical in tenor, yet it does not shun theory that leads to a full understanding of the principles underlying the various meteorological instruments." Review of Scientific Instruments


"There is a dearth of modern books on meteorological instruments written in the English language, and those who wish for information on the subject have perforce to turn to foreign publications ... Meteorologists will therefore afford a warm welcome to the present volume, in the 213 pages of which Mr. Knowles Middleton has compressed a surprisingly large amount of information upon the design and construction of meteorological instruments. The numerous references scattered throughout its pages show a wide knowledge of the literature of the subject ... " Journal, Royal Meteorological Society

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