TIROS-1 (short for Television and Infrared Observation Satellite) was the first weather satellite, and provided the first satellite imagery of Earth.

Image courtesy NASA
  • On April 1, 1960, the United States launched the world's first weather satellite into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida. The satellite was known as TIROS I (short for Television and Infrared Observation Satellite) and provided the first regular data on global weather. It took pictures of cloud cover and sent them to receiving stations on Earth. TIROS I allowed weather forecasters and scientists to see how storms were forming and moving across the globe.
    TIROS I, and weather satellites that came after it, revolutionized weather forecasting and climatology by permitting long-term forecasts. It is only by studying weather patterns over a long period of time that we can identify and measure climate change. As the global climate continues to change, weather satellites will play a growing role in predicting and preparing for new weather patterns.
  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    climate change Noun

    gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

    Encyclopedic Entry: climate change
    climatology Noun

    study of the Earth's atmosphere.

    cloud cover Noun

    amount of sky covered with clouds.

    data Plural Noun

    (singular: datum) information collected during a scientific study.

    forecast Verb

    to predict, especially the weather.

    predict Verb

    to know the outcome of a situation in advance.

    weather Noun

    state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.

    Encyclopedic Entry: weather
    weather pattern Noun

    repeating or predictable changes in the Earth's atmosphere, such as winds, precipitation, and temperatures.

    weather satellite Noun

    instrument that orbits the Earth to track weather and patterns in the atmosphere.