Standard Article

United States Weather Bureau


  1. Arthur M. Holst

Published Online: 15 APR 2005

DOI: 10.1002/047147844X.me410

Water Encyclopedia

Water Encyclopedia

How to Cite

Holst, A. M. 2005. United States Weather Bureau. Water Encyclopedia. 4:347–348.

Author Information

  1. Philadelphia Water Department, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 APR 2005


From 1890–1970, the United States Weather Bureau provided various weather-related services to the nation. Weather analysis had been considered for hundreds of years, but real progress was not made until the nineteenth century, when techniques and technology began to make accurate and useful weather forecasting possible, the main purpose of the United States Weather Bureau, its predecessors, and its successor, the National Weather Service. The first national American weather service was initiated on February 9, 1870, when President Ulysses S. Grant signed into existence what was then known as The Division of Telegrams and Reports for the Benefit of Commerce. This service began in November 1870. It lasted until 1890, when it was renamed the United States Weather Bureau, and Congress reassigned it from the Department of War to the Department of Agriculture at the behest of President Benjamin Harrison. Then, in 1940, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reassigned the Weather Bureau again, this time to its current home, the Department of Commerce. The United States Weather Bureau existed until 1970, when its name was again changed, this time by President Richard Nixon, to the National Weather Service, the name it is known by today.


  • weather;
  • Bureau;
  • United States government;
  • forecasting;
  • weather analysis;
  • National Weather Service;
  • Air Commerce Act