Constantly updating weather radar
Radiosondes  transmit data on pressure, temperature, and humidity for up to a few hours, and the path of the balloon indicates wind speed and direction.
The balloons themselves are single use, rising until they pop.
While the weather of spring 2012 may have seemed strange, odder and more damaging weather has happened in the past.
May 23, 1925 saw 94 degrees in Buffalo, followed by ice and snow the next day, and harsh storms rolled across the northeast.
1972's floods accelerated the demise of local railroad infrastructure, while 1981 devastated the Village of Dryden.
2011 saw damage in Caroline, though Tompkins County dodged many worse issues to the east.
The impact of climate change on day-to-day weather isn't clear yet, but added energy in the atmosphere can do more than warm it.
Although Ithaca has seen extreme temperatures of 103°F (1936) and -35°F (1934), most of the acute challenges in local weather come from precipitation.Even relatively minor-seeming weather - fog, light rain, or a little bit of snow or ice - can have a major impact on travel safety, especially on local hills.Ithaca airport had to divert flights for a few weeks in March and April 2012 because a crystal needed for instrument navigation in cloudy or foggy weather was broken, but even simpler forms of transportation can become more complicated when weather is iffy.While it remains fairly difficult to precisely forecast how much precipitation will land where, or where in a possible storm tornadoes will form, meteorologists and their powerful tools have delivered better and better results over the last century or so. The earliest "weather maps" were built using old observations, but the spread of reliable instruments and telegraph lines made daily station data collection possible by the time of the Civil War.Weather station reports today range from official Automated Surface Observing System (ASOS) installations, often at airports and National Weather Service (NWS) offices, to home stations that transmit their findings over the Internet.