In its exact terms, meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting. For those of us who watch the weather reports on the news, meteorology is merely a suggestion or well educated guess on whether or not its going to rain tomorrow.
Meteorology is a process of looking at many different factors going on in the atmosphere and then running an analysis based on history, fact and science in order to predict the weather. Meteorologists are the people who do the actual number crunching and give us our weather forecasts each night.
While some are better than others, all Meteorologists use the same technologies like the Doppler Radar to help them see the patterns of precipitation and wind that help them determine what the weather will be like. The science of Meteorology revolves around the different variables that exist in the Earths atmosphere. These variables are temperature, pressure, water vapor and the gradients and interactions of these variables all figured against how they will change in time.
Most courses of study of Meteorology began in the 1950s. Since then there has been rapid growth in the field of Meteorology. Most of the advances in Meteorology can be attributed to the advancement of computers and weather radars. The technology available for Meteorology today is without a doubt some of the more high tech computer equipment available.
While some courses of Meteorology are based on a very local level, there are thousands of Meteorologists working to find solutions for global threats like acid rain, global warming and the hole in the ozone layer. These Meteorologists are working with thousands of variables and a time line that just keeps getting shorter.
Meteorology will keep making advancements. It is incredible to see what they have done in the past 50 years now that computers have replaced the farmers almanac and the developments are promised to just keep coming. So for now, be compassionate for your local Meteorologist and if you really want to know what the weather is like, stick your head out your door.
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* For my cousin’s daughter’s class and their unit on weather. I explain how cold and warm fronts work and how pressure systems drive those air masses and create weather!
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