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Meteorology is a multidisciplinary field of study that looks at weather patterns and the atmosphere in a scientific manner. Meteorological studies observe weather variables such as temperature, air pressure, water vapor and the gradients and interactions of these variables. Being a multidisciplinary study, other notable field of studies under or together with meteorology is climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistry.
In the old days, those predicting the weather were considered to be practicing witchcraft. However, in modern times, especially in the latter half of the last century and after the development of computers, following weather patterns became a more precise science and predicting immediate weather conditions could be done by anybody who has studied Meteorology.
The importance of studying weather is perhaps one of the most important fields of studies. In historical studies of species of animals like the dinosaurs and other animals that perhaps only paleontologists would or could fully fathom, the terrifying conclusion of their extinction usually points to one phenomena and that is extreme changes in the weather. If this really were the causes of extinction of most prehistoric species then it is really a tall order to understand the weather and so that proper precautions could be set in case a catastrophic weather phenomenon would happen in the immediate future. Right now, meteorologists are sounding off warning signals that the drastic climactic changes happening all over the world are at an alarming proportions particularly the El Nino and La Nina phenomena and other signs as well like hurricanes all over the world are registering unprecedented velocities and ferocity.
The science of Meteorology is highly dependent on instrumentations. Since it was discovered that there are variable factors that contribute to the overall conditions of the atmosphere, meteorologists now take into account changes on these variables factors and they usually measure these variable factors with the use of equipments.
Thermometers, pressure, wind velocity and humidity can be measured by simple equipments such as the thermometer, barometer, anemometer and hygrometer but upper air data readings would usually employ a complicated network of radiosondes which are aided by aircrafts. Like in cases of tracking a hurricane, which could traverse continental divides in a matter of days, satellite imaging is usually used. Practically, to save on expensive equipments, different countries’ meteorological offices have agreed to share resources and information as a weather phenomenon in one country could very well affect another.
Prediction of weather in a precise manner would come in handy for military operations, energy production, the transport industry, agriculture and construction. It cannot be stressed enough that a wrong weather prediction could cause innumerable damages to lives and property and so that’s why meteorological offices are usually government controlled and also because the cost of equipments used can only be afforded by governments (like the use of satellite imaging).
Meteorologists usually have different approaches in making an accurate reading of the weather. One approach is the boundary layer meteorology which studies the air directly above Earth’s surface, including ocean surfaces, where significant fluxes of heat are being monitored. Another method employed by meteorologists is the dynamic meteorology which usually is concerned with the physics of the atmosphere. This takes into account temperature, density, pressure and other variables that may characterize the state of the air.
Truly, a full understanding of the weather would only benefit mankind as most important decisions are dependent on the weather. If there is one person who can accurately say what the weather will be tomorrow or any other day, it would be another golden age for man as it would translate to better food production and zero accidents brought about by the weather.