The term meteorology refers to the branch of physics that studies the phenomena that occur in the atmosphere. Meteorology refers to a great difference of processes, including the appearances of the movements of the atmosphere, where the interaction with the emission of radioactive energy and thermodynamic processes, is what describes the equilibrium states at the microscopic level that lead to the cloud formation and its climatological manifestations such as rain, snow and hail.

what is meteorology

It is the science in which several disciplines are combined, for the study and understanding of the behavior of the phenomena that develop in the atmosphere, its composition and other aspects, in order to be able to forecast the climatological state in a timely manner, since it affects the activity human.

What does meteorology study?

climate studyThis science is considered a branch of atmospheric physics, so it is part of geophysics, since it studies the dynamics between the lithosphere (the earth), the hydrosphere (the bodies of water) and the atmosphere (the gaseous part) . What meteorology mainly studies is the state of the weather in a short period, the atmospheric environment, the phenomena that occur in it and the laws under which they are subject.

A complete definition of meteorology cannot be had without involving two elementary concepts, such as weather and climate.

Weather refers to the behavior of the atmosphere in a given region and period of time, generally no longer than a week. To do this, it is necessary to measure different factors that influence climate, such as temperature, humidity, wind, pressure and rainfall (amount of rain).

Climate, on the other hand, is statistics about the behavior of the weather over a long period of time. This has made it possible to keep track of the phenomena developed throughout history, during the present and to understand how the intervention of human activities has influenced the climate over the centuries, and to try to decipher the future that awaits the planet now. humanity in this area.

history of meteorology

Since the beginning of time, in various geographical points around the world, observation methods have been applied, such as the appearance of the sky, the intensity of the wind, the temperature, the migration of birds or the foliage of the trees. Even in ancient Babylon, they were experts on the meteorological issue, because in documents dating back to about 2000 years BC, details about the great universal flood were recounted, as well as atmospheric phenomena were also predicted not only by observing the rain and the wind, but also the position and appearance of the stars, and even the movement of the planet.

But, when the third century AD arrived, the philosopher and scientist Aristotle, would collect more objectively in his work “Meteorology”, data with more scientific approaches towards meteorology, even though there was still no collective interest in knowing the reason behind it. all these phenomena. Later, the Romans would continue this legacy by compiling data of scientific interest, including the Tetrabiblos, which contained meteorological material that would serve as a tool in this area during the Middle Ages.

José de Acosta, Spanish anthropologist and naturalist, was a forerunner of modern climatology, and thanks to him and other pioneers, meteorological science began to take a different course from Aristotle to take shape from current knowledge on the subject. .

Henceforth, multiple discoveries and incorporation of rudimentary elements that would later evolve into current instruments for studying the atmosphere, as well as observations of other phenomena and their impact on the climate, would shape this science as we know it today. day.

Importance of meteorology

The meaning of meteorology has always had relevance for man, since it has affected the way activities are planned.

The weather conditions are disseminated through different mass media, as this helps man to program his daily activities and of a greater nature, such as air and maritime transport, military operations, agriculture, livestock, among others. .

Climatology, which supports the concept of meteorology by collecting constant atmospheric data, cooperates in the construction of a climatological model for each region, thus helping to predict possible future events.

For those who are interested in how to learn about meteorology, they should know the devices for the study of atmospheric conditions, whose combined data will produce weather forecasts. According to the atmospheric condition that it measures, they can be classified into:

Element to MeasureInstrumentFunction
WaterPluviometerThis device measures the amount of precipitated water. The observation period with this instrument is 24 hours.
PluviographMeasure the amount of water that fell and the period of time in which it fell.
hygrometer or hygrographThe first measures the amount of moisture in the air or some type of gas. The second measures it through time.
Evaporimeter or atmometerThis measures the potential evaporation of water in the atmosphere, taking into account a specific area and a given time.
evaporation tankIt is used to measure effective evaporation, taking into account solar radiation, temperature, humidity and wind.
TemperatureThermometerMeasure the air temperature. These can be mercury, alcohol, liquid metal or resistance. Maximum thermometers record the highest daily peak temperature, minimum thermometers record the lowest daily temperature, and the soil thermometer measures depth and soil temperatures.
thermographMeasure temperature graphically over time.
WindAnemometer (speed only)This measures the speed of the wind, and there are propellers, tubes and cups or hemispheres.
Anemocinemograph (direction and speed)Similar to the anemometer, with the variant that measures the speed and direction of the wind.
vaneMeasure the direction of the wind. This should be oriented in a North-South direction.
PressureBarometerMeasure atmospheric pressure. There are aneroid and mercury. The first can be for domestic use, and the second should not be exposed to the sun, wind or any other element that affects the temperature around it, since the temperature of the mercury must be controlled.
BarographIts simile, the barograph, measures atmospheric pressure over time and its variations.
RadiationPyranometers and pyrheliometersIt measures the solar radiation on the planet of the entire hemisphere. The second measures the direct solar radiation on a given space.
heliophanographIt records the duration of the sun’s rays, a phenomenon also known as insolation.
VisibilitytransmissometerIt is used to measure the visual range through the speed of light transmission between two points, or if it is interrupted.CloudsNephobasimeterMeasure the height of the cloud base. It also detects the amount of aerosols and other contaminants.

study meteorology

Within Mexico, there are options for the population that wants to learn what meteorology is. The most prominent options are:

  • The National Autonomous University of Mexico, which offers a degree in Earth Sciences with a focus on Atmospheric Sciences.
  • The University of Veracruz with a degree in Atmospheric Sciences.
  • The University of Guadalajara, on the other hand, offers a Master of Science in Hydrometeorology, as well as a technical career in Meteorology (degree obtained: TSU).

Frequently Asked Questions about Meteorology

What is meteorology in charge of?

It is the science that is responsible for studying and predicting the phenomena that occur in the atmosphere.

What science does meteorology belong to?

Meteorology belongs to geophysics, a science that is responsible for studying the gaseous coating of the earth and the phenomena that occur in it.

Where does the weather come from?

The term descends from a book entitled Meteorologica and was written around 340 BC by Aristotle, in which he presented observations about the birth of atmospheric phenomena.

What is the importance of meteorology?

It is important because it provides weather and climate forecasts and alerts. In addition, it has the ability to identify the phenomena that can affect economic activities or foresee the loss of numerous lives.

What is the relationship between physics and meteorology?

These disciplines are closely related because meteorology studies atmospheric phenomena, and physics applies the concepts of pressure and temperature to explain the causes that cause these phenomena.