top of page

Irving Krick’s model for weather forecasting

Irving Krick was an influential figure in the field of meteorology, particularly known for his development of a unique model for weather forecasting. Krick’s approach, which gained prominence in the mid-20th century, was based on the concept of analog days. This method involved identifying past weather patterns that closely resembled current atmospheric conditions and then predicting that the future weather would follow a similar trajectory as it did on those analog days.

Krick’s model significantly differed from the more conventional meteorological methods that were grounded in physics and fluid dynamics. Instead of relying heavily on mathematical equations and models to predict weather patterns, Krick’s approach was more empirical and observational. He meticulously studied historical weather data, searching for patterns and similarities between past and present weather conditions.

One of Krick’s most notable contributions was his role in the weather forecasting for the D-Day invasion during World War II. While other meteorologists were using traditional methods, Krick applied his analog method to predict a brief break in the stormy weather that would allow for the invasion. His prediction was one of the factors that influenced the decision to go ahead with the invasion on June 6, 1944.

Despite the success of his methods in certain high-profile cases, Krick’s approach to weather forecasting was met with skepticism and criticism by many in the scientific community. Critics argued that his analog method was less rigorous and potentially less accurate than models based on physical principles. Over time, as computational power and the understanding of atmospheric physics advanced, numerical weather prediction models became the standard, largely overshadowing Krick’s analog method.

Nevertheless, Irving Krick’s contributions to meteorology, especially his innovative approach to weather forecasting and his impact during a critical moment in history, remain a noteworthy part of the field’s development. His work exemplifies an early phase in the ongoing evolution of meteorological science, where observation and pattern recognition played a pivotal role before the advent of modern computational techniques.

Krick’s analog method, despite being overshadowed by modern computational techniques, had a lasting influence on the field of meteorology. It highlighted the importance of historical weather data and the potential insights that can be gleaned from analyzing past weather patterns. This approach laid a foundation for the appreciation of historical data in weather forecasting, an aspect still relevant in contemporary meteorology, albeit in a more technologically advanced context.

Furthermore, Krick’s work in meteorology extended beyond just weather prediction. He was also involved in commercial meteorology, offering weather consulting services to various industries. His company, Irving P. Krick Associates Inc., provided weather forecasts for agricultural operations, film productions, and other enterprises that required weather information for planning and operational purposes. This aspect of his career underscores the growing recognition during his time of the practical applications of meteorological knowledge in various sectors.

Krick’s methods also influenced the development of long-range forecasting techniques. While his approach did not necessarily align with the statistical and dynamical methods that later became prevalent, it did inspire further interest in and exploration of the possibility of long-term weather predictions. The concept of looking for patterns and similarities in historical data is a fundamental aspect of many long-range forecasting techniques used today, albeit supplemented with advanced statistical methods and computer models.

In academia, Krick’s legacy is a bit more mixed. While he was respected for his practical achievements and contributions during pivotal historical events like World War II, his methods were often viewed with skepticism by the academic community. This skepticism was partly due to the non-quantitative nature of his approach and the lack of a solid theoretical foundation compared to the emerging field of numerical weather prediction.

In summary, Irving Krick’s model for weather forecasting, rooted in the concept of analog days and historical pattern analysis, played a significant role in the evolution of meteorological practices. While his methods may have been superseded by more advanced techniques, they underscore the importance of historical data in weather prediction and have left an indelible mark on both the practical and theoretical aspects of meteorology. His career highlights the intersection of scientific innovation, practical application, and the challenges of integrating new methods into established scientific paradigms.

Originally published in Medium.


bottom of page