The role weather played on D-Day - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

The role weather played on D-Day

(WAFF) -

Weather has played an important role in many military operations throughout history. The timing of the D-Day invasion was heavily influenced by weather forecasts and conditions.

In fact, President Eisenhower, when asked why it had been so successful, responded, "We had better meteorologists than the Germans." 

The invasion of Normandy was originally planned for June 5, one day before the actual invasion took place. The Allied troops needed a perfect combination of low tides in the English Channel and favorable weather to land at Normandy.

June 4-6 was the tide window, but there was a hurricane-like storm wreaking havoc with heavy rain and strong winds and another, stronger storm quickly following it. General Eisenhower, on the advice of American and British meteorologists, decided to postpone the invasion.

But for how long? If they couldn't invade on the 6, it would have to wait two more weeks for low tide. With the massive storm to the north, the team analyzed a weak area of high pressure west of Normandy that might offer a brief period of improved weather to launch the invasion. 

It was a gutsy decision, but D-Day was a go based on that forecast.  

Given the massive storm, the Germans were taken completely by surprise, which was the turning point for the war.  

If Eisenhower had waited the two more weeks for the next low tide, conditions would have been much worse than on June 5.

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