Breakdown: What the word ‘meteorology’ really means

Breakdown: This is what the word ‘meteorology’ really means

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - We hear it all the time at school visits, when asking kids if you know what a meteorologist does, the kids scream, “SPACE! METEORS!”

Well… astronomists study space, while meteorologists study the weather. In this breakdown, we will explain why there is “meteor” in meteorologist.

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

Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric physic, with a major focus on weather forecasting.

The study of meteorology dates back millennia, through significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the 18th century.

According to historians, the 19th century saw modest progress in the field after weather observation networks were formed across broad regions.

Predicting the weather prior to the 20th century was dependent on historical data. It wasn’t until the elucidation of the law of physics and the development of computers, which allowed for automated solutions of great many equations that model the weather that significant breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved.

Meteorological phenomena are observable weather events that are explained by the science of meteorology. This includes, temperature, air pressure, water vapor, mass flow and the interaction of those variables.

Meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry are subdisciplines of the atmospheric sciences.

Meteorology and hydrology compose the interdisciplinary field of hydrometeorology.

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

Copyright 2019 WMC. All rights reserved.