Meteorology is the scientific study of the day-to-day state of the Earth’s atmosphere, especially for forecasting the weather. A meteorologist is a scientist who studies and forecasts weather.
Meteorologists use tools to understand and record things like air pressure, humidity, wind speed and direction, temperature, rainfall, etc.
- We all count on meteorologists to predict the weather for us. We want to know what to wear each day and what activities to plan. They are able to use tools to make excellent predictions but aren’t always 100% accurate.
- Meteorology is a major branch of earth science. Scientists get information from the land, sea, and upper atmosphere to learn the causes of particular weather conditions.
- People have always been interested in weather and trying to predict weather patterns. Before tools were developed, the weather was predicted by observation. Barometers and weather vanes were some of the earliest tools used.
- The study of high and low-pressure systems is important for weather forecasts. A high-pressure system attracts cool and dry air, usually meaning good weather. A low-pressure system attracts warm moist air, which usually means cloudy or rainy weather.
- The men and women forecasting the weather on TV news are usually not true meteorologists. They more likely have studied communications and public speaking. The proper term for these television personalities is “weathercaster.”
- The study of meteorology is very complex and requires a lot of math, physics, chemistry, atmospheric science, and even engineering. Meteorologists have studied in college and obtained at least a bachelor’s degree.
- A lot of technology is used for forecasting the weather. Some of the tools used are; satellites, doppler radar, rain gauge, anemometers, and computer models.
- Think of all the activities in our world that benefit from the weather forecast; farming, air travel, shipping, fishing, government research on climate change, public services, insurance, etc.
- Meteorologists provide a huge service in saving lives as they study and predict extreme weather such as tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, blizzards, even strong winds, and freezing rain.
Doppler radar: instruments that use radar to tell the movement and intensity of the precipitation. They can predict how severe a storm will be.
Anemometer: An instrument used for measuring the speed of the wind.
Questions and Answers
Question: Do meteorologists use weather balloons?
Answer: Yes! Weather balloons are launched twice a day from 900 locations around the world. They carry tools that gather valuable data from the atmosphere that helps forecast the weather.
Watch a video to learn more about meteorology.