Alexander Buchan

1829 - 1907

Meteorologist. Born at Kinnesswood (Kinross). Buchan worked on the climatology of Britain, using statistical methods. He was the first to use a weather map as the basis of weather forecasting. He realised that the European weather is determined by pressure conditions over Iceland. He proposed the so-called Buchan Spells whereby warm and cold spells of weather occur at approximately the same dates each year, although meteorologists now believe that weather patterns are a rather more random phenomenon.

Buchan was Secretary of the Scottish Meteorological Society between 1860 and 1907 and played an important part in the work of their Ben Nevis Observatory, which operated between 1883 and 1904. The society was formed in 1855 and merged with the Royal Meteorological Society in 1921.

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