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Meteorologyis a branch of theatmospheric scienceswhich includesatmospheric chemistryandatmospheric physics, with a major focus onweather forecasting. The study of meteorology dates backmillennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century. The 19th century saw modest progress in the field afterweather observationnetworks were formed across broad regions. Prior attempts atprediction of weatherdepended on historical data. It was not until after the elucidation of thelaws of physicsand more particularly, the development of the computer, allowing for the automated solution of a great many equations that model the weather, in the latter half of the 20th century that significant breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved. An important domain of weather forecasting ismarine weather forecastingas it relates to maritime and coastal safety, in which weather effects also include atmospheric interactions with large bodies of water.

Meteorological phenomenaare observable weather events that are explained by the science of meteorology. Meteorological phenomena are described and quantified by the variables ofEarth's atmosphere:temperature,air pressure,water vapour,mass flow, and the variations and interactions of those variables, and how they change over time. Differentspatial scalesare used to describe and predict weather on local, regional, and global levels.

Meteorology,climatology,atmospheric physics, andatmospheric chemistryare sub-disciplines of theatmospheric sciences. Meteorology andhydrologycompose the interdisciplinary field ofhydrometeorology. The interactions between Earth's atmosphere and its oceans are part of a coupled ocean-atmosphere system. Meteorology has application in many diverse fields such as themilitary,energy production,transport,agriculture, andconstruction.

The wordmeteorologyis from theAncient Greekμετέωροςmetéōros(meteor) and-λογία-logia(-(o)logy), meaning "the study of things high in the air."

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