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Meteorology is the study of the Earth's atmosphere and especially the study of weather. A meteorologist is a person who studies the atmosphere. In particular, meteorology deals with physical aspects of the atmosphere, such as the formation of clouds, rain, thunderstorms, and lightning and the study of visual events such as mirages, rainbows, and halos.


polar-orbiting satellites

Meteorologic and environmental data are collected by instruments on board polar-orbiting satellites such as the series of satellites operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Credits - NOAA

Meteorology also studies variations in temperature and pressure that produce different weather conditions and the winds and laws that govern atmospheric motion. The science also includes the study and analysis of large weather systems that exist for more than one day and weather forecasting.

geostationary satellite

Instruments on board geostationary satellites collect meteorologic and environmental data. They also help meteorologists predict severe weather such as hurricanes and tornados.

Credits - NASA

Meteorologic data is gathered by a variety of observational and analytical instruments on the surface of the Earth, in balloons, and in satellites.


first balloon ascension in the United States for meteorologic research

The first balloon ascension in the United States for meteorologic research occurred in St. Louis, Missouri, on September 15, 1904. This balloon carried instruments that would return to Earth when the balloon burst. Since this first launch, literally millions of weather balloons have been launched by the National Weather Service and its predecessor organizations. This photo comes from "The Principles of Aerography" by Alexander McAdie, 1917.