Sir David Brunt, father of meteorology, c 1945.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Brunt (1886-1965) joined the Met Office after concerns over the use of poison gas during World War One. Gas dispersal was not predictable because of a lack of understanding about wind direction and the atmosphere. Increased air travel also made improved forecasting necesary. Brunt applied the study of fluid dynamics to meteorology. Gases in motion cause atmospheric conditions or 'weather'. Brunt used statistics to make sense of the vast quantity of data on temperature, presure and wind strength to make informed weather forecasts. He also tried to link weather conditions and human health, concluding that New Zealand's climate is healthiest for humans. He was president of the Physical Society from 1945 to1947.