Commenting about the weather negatively seems embedded in the DNA of mankind. Bringing up the changes in climate always is an easy conversation starter. But while the desire to talk about it is always present, the science behind reporting has been an evolutionary process.
History shows that about 650 B.C., the Babylonians first tried to predict short-term weather changes based on the appearance of clouds and visual phenomena such as haloes. Around 300 B.C., Chinese astronomers had first drafted a calendar that divided the year into 24 festivals. Each festival heralded a different type of weather.
In 340 B.C., the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote Meteorologica, his philosophical treatise that included his theories about the formation of weather, including rain, clouds, hail, wind, thunder, lightning, and hurricanes. Meteorologicia also addressed other topics such as astronomy, geography, and chemistry. Not surprisingly, Aristotle made some remarkably keen observations concerning the weather, but was limited based upon the tools with which he had to work.
At the time of the Renaissance, the blanket observations and conjecture of the natural philosophers were shown to be insufficient. There was a need for scientific tools and documentation that leads to an understanding of the weather. This showed a need for instruments to measure the properties of the atmosphere, such as moisture, temperature, and pressure. This need fueled the work of scientists including Nicholas Cusa, Galileo Galilei and Evangelista Torricelli.
In the 20th Century, advances in communications tools, such as the telegraph and telephone, have greatly advanced meteorology. John von Neumann recognized that weather forecasting was a natural application for computers. In 1948, he assembled a group of theoretical meteorologists at the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey, which led to the development of the first weather computer, called the ENIAC.
Sourced from: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/WxForecasting/wx2.php and http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/