Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
The Weather Experiment

The Weather Experiment

The Pioneers Who Sought to See the Future

Peter Moore

Farrar, Straus and Giroux


A history of weather forecasting, and an animated portrait of the nineteenth-century pioneers who made it possible

By the 1800s, a century of feverish discovery had launched the major branches of science. Physics, chemistry, biology, geology, and astronomy made the natural world explicable through experiment, observation, and categorization. And yet one scientific field remained in its infancy. Despite millennia of observation, mankind still had no understanding of the forces behind the weather. A century after the death of Newton, the laws that governed the heavens were entirely unknown, and weather forecasting was the stuff of folklore and superstition.
Peter Moore's The Weather Experiment is the account of a group of naturalists, engineers, and artists who conquered the elements. It describes their travels and experiments, their breakthroughs and bankruptcies, with picaresque vigor. It takes readers from Irish bogs to a thunderstorm in Guanabara Bay to the basket of a hydrogen balloon 8,500 feet over Paris. And it captures the particular bent of mind—combining the Romantic love of Nature and the Enlightenment love of Reason—that allowed humanity to finally decipher the skies.

New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year


Writing in the Air

At a quarter to eight on a breezy spring morning in 1804, Francis Beaufort of the Irish Telegraph Corps came racing up the broad upper slopes of Croghan Hill, his militiamen close on his tail....

Praise for The Weather Experiment

“The book (Moore's first) is vivid, intense and often frightening . . . There is much in this brilliant, startling debut that will linger long in the memory, images that may even, for the unwary reader, make sleep temporarily difficult.” —Jonathan Barnes, The Times Literary Review on Damn His Blood -

Reviews from Goodreads

Peter Moore

Peter Moore was born in Staffordshire in 1983. He is the author of Damn His Blood: A True and Detailed History of the Most Barbarous and Inhumane Murder at Oddingley and the Quick and Awful Retribution. He is a visiting lecturer at City University, where he teaches nonfiction writing, and was recently the writer in residence at Gladstone's Library in Hawarden, Wales.

Travels Through Time Podcast

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Latest on Facebook