History offers examples of ideas that often come to fruition. One occurred for an ambulance driver in World War I. Lewis Richardson did numerical weather experiments; cataloging sky conditions, integrating numerical calculations into his journal. As noted in a previous column, his calculations by hand didn’t produce a useful forecast but was the beginning of modern weather predictions. He wrote a manuscript that was lost but eventually discovered in a coal bin and later published. Upon his death, the book was given to the National Weather Service, where it is on display in its Executive Suite. He envisioned a “large hall-like theater” filled with human computers, calculating for a particular point on the Earth. Today, the NWS uses massive parallel computers executing those same calculations.

Fastcast: Rain, colder.

Scattered showers before 1 p.m. Cloudy, gradually becoming sunny. High near 69. Westerly winds 5 mph to 15 mph. Rain chance: 30 percent. Tonight: Clear, low around 40. Westerly winds 5 mph.