Pat Shingleton for Friday, June 7, 2013

Continuing our column from Thursday on weather predictions for Operation Overlord in 1944. On May 31, 1944, a series of low pressure systems from Nova Scotia to Scotland displayed characteristics of a possible hurricane. The persistent Azores high could deflect the storms, however with too much cloud cover, so the advance bombers would be useless. Also, too much wind and the landing craft couldn’t function. Dr. J.M. Stagg, operational meteorologist, coordinated all forecasts to produce a consensus that met the approval of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who attended the daily weather briefings. Initially, Stagg was not optimistic about the invasion and encouraged a postponement to the supreme commander on June 4. On June 5, he predicted “tolerable” weather was expected on the Normandy coast June 6. Fastcast: Early showers.

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