The Division of Marine Meteorology in the Hydrographic Office of the U.S. Navy Department may be strictly said to have had its origin when Lieutenant Maury became the Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Depot and Observatory in September, 1844.
Lieutenant Maury's energies were almost entirely devoted to the hydrographic and meteorologic subjects, and he took immediate steps to collect information from the log-books of men-of-war and merchant vessels for the preparation of charts to show the prevailing winds and currents, their limits and general characteristics, the best sailing routes, the limits of fog, field ice, icebergs and rain areas, all the physical features of the ocean, the feeding ground of whales, and all facts of interest or value to mariners.
These charts are known as Maury's "Wind and Current Charts." They include: Track Charts, Trade Wind Charts, Pilot Charts, Whale Charts, Thermal Charts, and Storm and Rain Charts.