In colonial America, Benjamin Franklin was hoping to observe a lunar eclipse on the evening of October 21, 1743. Anticipation soon turned to dismay however, as an hour before the eclipse was to begin, clouds and rain blew in from the northeast, and treated his hometown of Philadelphia to a most violent thunderstorm. He was all the more surprised therefore, when his brother in Boston told him that they had also had a storm, but it happened after the eclipse, which he got to see. But the storm had come from the direction of Boston. How did it hit Philadelphia first? Franklin reasoned that this must have been some special kind of storm. He gathered together weather reports and found that the storm had moved up the Atlantic seaboard, moving counter to the local surface winds. And so Ben Franklin was the first person to discover the cyclonic nature of a hurricane, and thus turned an astronomical defeat into a meteorological windfall!