9 Questions

What is meteorology?

Who is considered the founder of meteorology?

What is the hydrologic cycle?

What are the sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences?

What were some of the key instruments invented in meteorology?

What was the first national meteorological service established?

What did Norwegian scientist Vilhelm Bjerknes argue in 1904?

What is synoptic scale meteorology?

What is the chaotic nature of the atmosphere?


A Brief History of Meteorology

  • Meteorology is a branch of atmospheric sciences that focuses on weather forecasting.

  • The study of meteorology dates back millennia but significant progress was made in the 18th century.

  • The 19th century saw modest progress in the field after weather observation networks were formed across broad regions.

  • Breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved in the latter half of the 20th century with the development of the computer.

  • Different spatial scales are used to describe and predict weather on local, regional, and global levels.

  • Meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry are sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences.

  • Meteorology has application in many diverse fields such as the military, energy production, transport, agriculture, and construction.

  • The word meteorology comes from the Ancient Greek μετέωρος metéōros (meteor) and -λογία -logia (-(o)logy), meaning "the study of things high in the air."

  • Early attempts at predicting weather were often related to prophecy and divining, and were sometimes based on astrological ideas.

  • Ancient Greeks were the first to make theories about the weather, but early meteorological theories generally considered that there was a fire-like substance in the atmosphere.

  • Aristotle is considered the founder of meteorology and his work on the hydrologic cycle remained an authority on meteorology for nearly 2,000 years.

  • The scientific revolution in meteorology began in the Renaissance in the 14th to 17th centuries with scientists such as Galileo and Descartes introducing new methods and ideas.History and Advancements in Meteorology

  • Advances in technology such as the telegraph and photography led to the creation of weather observing networks and the ability to track storms in the 19th century.

  • The 20th century saw the development of radar and satellite technology, which greatly improved the ability to observe and track weather systems.

  • Meteorology has become increasingly dependent on numerical methods and computer simulations in the 20th and 21st centuries, greatly improving weather forecasting and climate predictions.

  • Meteorology has expanded to include other areas such as air quality, atmospheric chemistry, and climatology.

  • Key instruments invented include the rain gauge, anemometer, thermoscope, mercury barometer, tipping bucket rain gauge, thermometer, hygrometer, and hair hygrometer.

  • Key discoveries include atmospheric pressure decreases with height, ice absorbs heat without changing its temperature when melting, nitrogen, oxygen, and combustion.

  • Researchers discovered cyclones, trade winds, monsoons, circulation cells, and fronts.

  • Observation networks were established in the late 16th century, and by the end of the 18th century, meteorologists had access to large quantities of reliable weather data.

  • National meteorological services were established in the 19th and early 20th centuries, including the UK Meteorological Office in 1854 and the United States Weather Bureau in 1890.

  • Norwegian scientist Vilhelm Bjerknes first argued in 1904 that it should be possible to forecast weather from calculations based upon natural laws.

  • Numerical forecasts with computers became feasible in the 1950s, and the chaotic nature of the atmosphere was first observed and mathematically described by Edward Lorenz in the 1960s.

  • Meteorologists work in government agencies, private consulting and research services, industrial enterprises, utilities, radio and television stations, and in education.Overview of Meteorology

  • Meteorology is the study of atmospheric phenomena and weather patterns that occur in the Earth's atmosphere.

  • Meteorology uses various instruments such as pyrheliometer/spectroradiometer, rain gauge/snow gauge, scintillation counter, seismometer, transmissometer, and GPS clock for data logging.

  • The study of the atmosphere can be divided into distinct areas that depend on both time and spatial scales, such as climatology, microscale, mesoscale, synoptic scale, and global scale meteorology.

  • Microscale meteorology studies atmospheric phenomena on a scale of about 1 km or less, while mesoscale meteorology studies atmospheric phenomena ranging from 1 km to 1000 km.

  • Synoptic scale meteorology predicts atmospheric changes at scales up to 1000 km and 105 sec (28 days), while global scale meteorology studies weather patterns related to the transport of heat from the tropics to the poles.

  • Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere at a future time and given location.

  • Aviation meteorology deals with the impact of weather on air traffic management, while agricultural meteorology studies the effects of weather and climate on plant distribution, crop yield, water-use efficiency, phenology of plant and animal development, and the energy balance of managed and natural ecosystems.

  • Hydrometeorology deals with the hydrologic cycle, the water budget, and the rainfall statistics of storms, while nuclear meteorology investigates the distribution of radioactive aerosols and gases in the atmosphere.

  • Maritime meteorology deals with air and wave forecasts for ships operating at sea. Military meteorology is the research and application of meteorology for military purposes.

  • Environmental meteorology mainly analyzes industrial pollution dispersion based on meteorological parameters such as temperature, humidity, wind, and various weather conditions.

  • Meteorology applications in renewable energy include basic research, "exploration," and potential mapping of wind power and solar radiation for wind and solar energy.


Test your knowledge of meteorology with this informative quiz! From the ancient Greeks' theories about weather to the latest advancements in computer simulations, this quiz covers the history and key discoveries in the field of atmospheric sciences. Learn about the different sub-disciplines of meteorology and their applications in diverse fields, such as agriculture, transport, and construction. The quiz also covers the instruments and technologies used in meteorology, as well as the different spatial scales used to predict weather patterns. Challenge yourself and see how

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