Personal observation and folklore were the basis for early weather forecasting. People were interested in the weather for both personal and economic reasons. Farmers depended upon it to schedule their planting and harvesting, sailors monitored the winds to avoid disasters at sea, and merchants and traders acknowledged the impact of weather in their travels from town to town. It is no surprise, then, that scientists looked for ways to measure the weather. Scientific innovation in the mid 1800s made weather information more widely available to the general public.