Forty years ago, weather predictions were about as accurate as forecasts of who will win the lottery. In the days before television could warn on a Wednesday of rainy periods at the weekend, weather monitoring was limited to wind, temperature and rainfall gauges aboard aeroplanes, balloons and ships.
All that changed on April 1, 1960 when the US Government launched the first weather satellite, called TIROS 1, into the Earth's orbit from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It paved the way for generations of weather satellites that today help with everything from monitoring crops to tracking the movement of mosquitoes across continents.
To Tell You More About Weather Satellites
Thanks to the Internet, meteorologist can view high-resolution satellite images of incoming storms, allowing coastal areas enough advance warning to evacuate.