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Meteorology

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Meteorologyisthe interdisciplinaryscientific study ofthe atmosphere. Studies inthe field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur untilthe eighteenth century.The nineteenth century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries. Afterthe development ofthe computer inthe latter half ofthe twentieth century breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved. Meteorological phenomenaare observable weather events which illuminate and are explained bythe science of meteorology. Those events are bound bythe variables that exist in Earth's atmosphere; temperature, air pressure, water vapor, andthe gradients and interactions of each variable, and howthey change in time. Different spatial scales are studied to determine how systems on local, region, and global levels impact weather and climatology.

Meteorology, climatology, atmospheric physics, and atmospheric chemistryare sub-disciplines ofthe atmospheric sciences. Meteorology and hydrologycomposethe interdisciplinary field of hydrometeorology. Interactions between Earth's atmosphere andthe oceans are part of coupled ocean-atmosphere studies. Meteorology has application in many diverse fields such asthe military, energy production, transport, agriculture and construction. The word "meteorology" is from Greek metros"lofty; high (inthe sky)" (from meta- "above" and er "to lift up") and - -logia "-(o)logy".

Contents

1 History o 1.1 Research of visualatmospheric phenomena o 1.2 Instruments and classification scales o 1.3 Atmospheric composition research o 1.4 Research into cyclones and air flow o 1.5 Observation networks and weather forecasting o 1.6 Numerical weather prediction 2 Meteorologists 3 Equipment 4 Spatial scales o 4.1 Microscale o 4.2 Mesoscale o 4.3 Synoptic scale o 4.4 Global scale 5 Some meteorological principles o 5.1 Boundary layer meteorology o 5.2 Dynamic meteorology 6 Applications o 6.1 Weather forecasting o 6.2 Aviation meteorology o 6.3 Agricultural meteorology o 6.4 Hydrometeorology o 6.5 Nuclear meteorology o 6.6 Maritime meteorology 7 See also 8 References 9 Further reading 10 External links

[edit] History
Main article: Timeline of meteorology

Parhelion (sundog) at Savoie The beginnings of meteorology can be traced back in ancient India to 3000 B.C.E [1], such asthe Upanishads, contain serious discussion aboutthe processes of cloud formation and rain andthe seasonal cycles caused bythe movement of earth roundthe sun. Varahamithras classical work, Brihatsamhita , written about 500 A.D. [1], provides a clear evidence that a deep knowledge ofatmospheric processes existed even in those times. In 350 BC, Aristotle wrote Meteorology.[2]Aristotle is consideredthe founder of meteorology.[3]One ofthe most impressive achievements described inthe Meteorologyisthe description of what is now known asthe hydrologic cycle.[4]The Greek scientist Theophrastuscompiled a book on weather forecasting, calledthe Book of Signs.The work ofTheophrastus remained a dominant influence inthe study of weather and in weather forecasting for nearly 2,000 years.[5] In 25 AD, Pomponius Mela, a geographer forthe Roman Empire, formalizedthe climatic zone system.[6]Aroundthe 9th century, Al-Dinawari, a Kurdishnaturalist, writesthe Kitab al-Nabat (Book of Plants), in which he deals withthe application of meteorology to agricultureduringthe Muslim Agricultural Revolution. He describesthe meteorological character ofthe sky,the planets and constellations,the sun and moon,the lunar phases indicating seasonsand rain,the anwa (heavenly bodiesof rain), andatmospheric phenomena such as winds, thunder, lightning, snow, floods, valleys, rivers, lakes, wells and other sources of water.[7][verification needed]

[edit] Research of visualatmospheric phenomena

Twilight at Baker Beach See also: Rainbow and Twilight In 1021, Ibn al-Haytham(Alhazen) wrote onthe atmospheric refraction of light.[8][verification needed] He showed thatthe twilight is due toatmospheric refraction and only begins whenthe Sun is

19 degrees belowthe horizon, and uses a complex geometric demonstration to measurethe height ofthe Earth's atmosphere as 52,000 passuum (49 miles (79 km)),[9][verification needed][10][not in citation given] which is very close tothe modern measurement of 50 miles (80 km). He also realized thatthe atmosphere also reflects light, from his observationsofthe sky brightening even beforethe Sun rises.[11] St. Albertthe Greatwasthe first to propose that each drop of falling rain hadthe form of a small sphere, and that this form meant thatthe rainbow was produced by light interacting with each raindrop.[12] Roger Baconwasthe first to calculatethe angular size ofthe rainbow. He stated thatthe rainbow summit can not appear higher than 42 degrees abovethe horizon.[13]Inthe late 13th century and early 14th century, Theodoric of Freiberg and Kaml al-Dn alFriscontinuedthe work of Ibn al-Haytham, andthey werethe first to givethe correct explanations forthe primary rainbowphenomenon.Theoderic went further and also explainedthe secondary rainbow [14] In 1716, Edmund Halley suggests that auroraeare caused by "magnetic effluvia" moving alongthe Earth's magnetic field lines.

[edit] Instruments and classification scales


See also: Beaufort Scale, Celsius, and Fahrenheit

A hemispherical cup anemometer In 1441, King Sejongsson, Prince Munjong, inventedthe first standardized rain gauge.[citation needed] These were sent throughoutthe Joseon Dynasty of Korea as an official tool to assess land taxes based upon a farmer's potential harvest. In 1450, Leone Battista Alberti developed a swinging-plate anemometer, and is known asthe first anemometer.[15] In 1607, Galileo Galilei constructs a thermoscope. In 1611, Johannes Keplerwritesthe first scientific treatise on snow crystals: "Strena Seu de Nive Sexangula (A New Year's Gift of Hexagonal Snow)".[16] In 1643, Evangelista Torricelliinventsthe mercury barometer.[15] In 1662, Sir Christopher Wreninventedthe mechanical, self-emptying, tipping bucket rain gauge. In 1714, Gabriel Fahrenheitcreates a reliable scale for measuring temperature with a mercury-typethermometer.[17] In 1742, Anders Celsius, a Swedish astronomer, proposedthe 'centigrade' temperature scale,the predecessor ofthe current Celsius scale.[18]In 1783,the first hair hygrometer is demonstrated by Horace-Bndict de Saussure. In 1802-1803, Luke Howard writes Onthe Modification of Clouds

in which he assigns cloud types Latin names.[19] In 1806, Francis Beaufort introduced his system for classifying wind speeds.[20]Nearthe end ofthe 19th centurythe first cloud atlaseswere published, includingthe International Cloud Atlas, which has remained in print ever since.The April 1960 launch ofthe first successful weather satellite, TIROS-1, markedthe beginning ofthe age where weather information became available globally.

[edit] Atmospheric composition research


In 1648, Blaise Pascal rediscovers that atmospheric pressuredecreases with height, and deduces thatthere is a vacuum abovethe atmosphere.[21] In 1738, Daniel Bernoulli publishes Hydrodynamics, initiatingthe kinetictheoryof gases and establishedthe basic laws forthe theory of gases.[22] In 1761, Joseph Black discovers that ice absorbs heat without changing its temperature when melting. In 1772, Black's student Daniel Rutherford discovers nitrogen, which he calls phlogisticated air, and togetherthey developedthe phlogistontheory.[23] In 1777, Antoine Lavoisier discovers oxygen and develops an explanation for combustion.[24] In 1783, in Lavoisier's book Reflexions sur le phlogistique,[25]he deprecatesthe phlogistontheory and proposes a calorictheory.[26][27] In 1804, Sir John Leslieobserves that a matte black surface radiates heat more effectively than a polished surface, suggestingthe importance of black body radiation. In 1808, John Daltondefends calorictheory in A New System of Chemistryand describes how it combines with matter, especially gases; he proposes thatthe heat capacity of gases varies inversely with atomic weight. In 1824, Sadi Carnotanalyzesthe efficiency of steam enginesusing calorictheory; he developsthe notion of a reversible processand, in postulating that no such thing exists in nature, laysthe foundation forthe second law ofthermodynamics.

[edit] Research into cyclones and air flow

The westerlies and trade winds are part ofthe Earth'satmospheric circulation Main articles: Coriolis effect and Prevailing winds In 1494, Christopher Columbusexperiences a tropical cyclone, leads tothe first written European account of a hurricane.[28] In 1686, Edmund Halleypresents a systematic study ofthe trade winds and monsoonsand identifies solar heating asthe cause ofatmospheric motions.[29] In 1735, an ideal explanation of global circulationthrough study ofthe Trade winds was written by George Hadley.[30] In 1743, when Benjamin Franklin is prevented from seeing a lunar eclipse by a

hurricane, he decides that cyclones move in a contrary manner tothe winds attheir periphery.[31]Understandingthe kinematics of how exactlythe rotation ofthe Earth affects airflow was partial at first. Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis published a paper in 1835 onthe energy yield of machines with rotating parts, such as waterwheels.[32] In 1856, William Ferrelproposedthe existence of a circulation cellinthe mid-latitudes with air being deflected bythe Coriolis force to createthe prevailing westerly winds.[33]Late inthe 19th centurythe full extent ofthe large scale interaction of pressure gradient forceand deflecting force that inthe end causes air masses to move along isobarswas understood. By 1912, this deflecting force was namedthe Coriolis effect.[34] Just after World War I, a group of meteorologists in Norway led by Vilhelm Bjerknesdevelopedthe Norwegian cyclone modelthat explainsthe generation, intensification and ultimate decay (the life cycle) of mid-latitude cyclones, introducingthe idea of fronts, that is, sharply defined boundaries between air masses.[35]The group included Carl-Gustaf Rossby(who wasthe first to explainthe large scaleatmospheric flow in terms of fluid dynamics), Tor Bergeron(who first determinedthe mechanism by which rain forms) and Jacob Bjerknes.

[edit] Observation networks and weather forecasting

Cloud classification by altitude of occurrence See also: History of surface weather analysis In 1654, Ferdinando II de Mediciestablishesthe first weather observing network, that consisted of meteorological stations in Florence, Cutigliano, Vallombrosa, Bologna, Parma, Milan, Innsbruck, Osnabrck, Paris and Warsaw. Collected data was centrally sent to Florence at regular time intervals.[36] In 1832, an electromagnetic telegraph was created by Baron Schilling.[37]The arrival ofthe electrical telegraphin 1837 afforded, forthe first time, a practical method for quickly gathering surface weather observations from a wide area.[38]This data could be used to produce maps ofthe state ofthe atmosphere for a region nearthe Earth's surface and to study howthese states evolved through time. To make frequent weather forecasts based onthese data required a reliable network of observations, but it was not until 1849 thatthe Smithsonian Institutionbegan to establish an observation network acrossthe United States underthe leadership of Joseph Henry.[39]Similar observation networks were established in Europe at this time. In 1854,the United Kingdom government appointed Robert FitzRoytothe new office of Meteorological Statist tothe Board of Tradewiththe role of gathering weather observations at sea. FitzRoy's office becamethe United Kingdom Meteorological Officein 1854,the first national meteorological service inthe world.The first daily weather forecasts made by FitzRoy's Office were published in The Timesnewspaper in 1860.The following year a system was introduced of hoisting storm warning cones at principal ports when a gale was expected.

Overthe next 50 years many countries established national meteorological services.The India Meteorological Department (1875) was established following tropical cyclone and monsoon related faminesinthe previous decades.[40]The Finnish Meteorological Central Office (1881) was formed from part of Magnetic Observatory of Helsinki University.[41]Japan's Tokyo Meteorological Observatory,the forerunner ofthe Japan Meteorological Agency, began constructing surface weather maps in 1883.[42]The United States Weather Bureau(1890) was established underthe United States Department of Agriculture.The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (1906) was established by a Meteorology Act to unify existing state meteorological services.[43][44]

[edit] Numerical weather prediction


Main article: Numerical weather prediction

A meteorologist atthe console ofthe IBM 7090 inthe Joint Numerical Weather Prediction Unit. c. 1965 In 1904, Norwegian scientist Vilhelm Bjerknes first argued in his paper Weather Forecasting as a Problem in Mechanics and Physicsthat it should be possible to forecast weather from calculations based upon natural laws.[45] It was not until later inthe 20th century that advances inthe understanding ofatmospheric physics led tothe foundation of modern numerical weather prediction. In 1922, Lewis Fry Richardsonpublished "Weather Prediction By Numerical Process", after finding notes and derivations he worked on as an ambulance driver in World War I. He describedtherein how small terms inthe prognostic fluid dynamics equations governingatmospheric flow could be neglected, and a finite differencing scheme in time and space could be devised, to allow numerical prediction solutions to be found. Richardson envisioned a large auditorium of thousands of people performingthe calculations and passingthem to others. However,the sheer number of calculations required was too large to be completed withoutthe use of computers, andthe size ofthe grid and time steps led to unrealistic results in deepening systems. It was later found, through numerical analysis, that this was due to numerical instability. Starting inthe 1950s, numerical forecasts with computers became feasible.[46]The first weather forecasts derived this way used barotropic(that means, single-vertical-level) models, and could successfully predictthe large-scale movement of midlatitude Rossby waves, that is,the pattern of atmospheric lows and highs..[47]

Inthe 1960s,the chaoticnature ofthe atmosphere was first observed and mathematically described by Edward Lorenz, foundingthe field of chaostheory.[48]These advances have led tothe current use of ensemble forecastingin most major forecasting centers, to take into account uncertainty arising fromthe chaotic nature ofthe atmosphere.[49] Climate modelshave been developed that feature a resolution comparable to older weather prediction models.These climate models are used to investigate long-term climate shifts, such as what effects might be caused by human emission of greenhouse gases.

[edit] Meteorologists
Further information: Weather forecasting Meteorologists are scientists who study meteorology.[50] Meteorologists work in government agencies, private consulting and research services, industrial enterprises, utilities, radio and television stations, and in education. Inthe United States, meteorologists held about 9,400 jobs in 2009.[51] Meteorologists are best-known for forecastingthe weather. Many radio and television weather forecasters are professional meteorologists, while others are merely reporters(weather specialist, weatherman, etc...) with no formal meteorological training.The American Meteorological Society and National Weather Associationissue "Seals of Approval" to weather broadcasters who meet certain requirements.

[edit] Equipment

Satellite image of Hurricane Hugo with a polar lowvisible atthe top ofthe image.

Main article: Meteorological instrumentation Each science has its own unique sets of laboratory equipment. Inthe atmosphere,there are many things or qualities ofthe atmosphere that can be measured. Rain, which can be observed, or seen anywhere and anytime was one ofthe first ones to be measured historically. Also, two other accurately measured qualitiesare wind and humidity. Neither ofthese can be seenbut can be felt.The devices to measurethese three sprang up inthe mid-15th century and were respectivelythe rain gauge,the anemometer, andthe hygrometer.[52] Sets of surface measurements are important data to meteorologists.They give a snapshot of a variety of weather conditions at one single location and are usually at a weather station, a ship or a weather buoy.The measurements taken at a weather station can include any number ofatmospheric observables. Usually, temperature, pressure, wind measurements, and humidityarethe variables that are measured by athermometer, barometer, anemometer, and hygrometer, respectively.[53]Upper air data are of crucial importance for weather forecasting.The most widely used technique is launches of radiosondes. Supplementingthe radiosondes a network of aircraft collectionis organized bythe World Meteorological Organization. Remote sensing, as used in meteorology, isthe concept of collecting data from remote weather events and subsequently producing weather information.The common types of remote sensing are Radar, Lidar, and satellites (or photogrammetry). Each collects data aboutthe atmosphere from a remote location and, usually, storesthe data wherethe instrument is located. RADAR and LIDAR are not passive because both use EM radiationto illuminate a specific portion ofthe atmosphere.[54]Weather satellites along with more general-purpose Earth-observing satellites circlingthe earth at various altitudes have become an indispensable tool for studying a wide range of phenomena from forest fires to El Nio.

[edit] Spatial scales


Inthe study ofthe atmosphere, meteorology can be divided into distinct areas of emphasis depending onthe temporal scope and spatial scope of interest. At one extreme of this scale is climatology. Inthe timescales of hours to days, meteorology separates into micro-, meso-, and synoptic scale meteorology. Respectively,the geospatialsize of each ofthese three scales relates directly withthe appropriate timescale. Other subclassifications are available based onthe need by or bythe unique, local or broad effects that are studied within that sub-class.

[edit] Microscale
Main article: Microscale meteorology Microscale meteorology isthe study ofatmospheric phenomena of about 1 km or less. Individual thunderstorms, clouds, and local turbulence caused by buildings and other obstacles, such as individual hills fall within this category.[55]

[edit] Mesoscale
Main article: Mesoscale meteorology Mesoscale meteorology isthe study ofatmospheric phenomena that has horizontal scales ranging from microscale limits to synoptic scale limits and a vertical scale that starts atthe Earth's surface and includestheatmospheric boundary layer, troposphere, tropopause, andthe lower section ofthe stratosphere. Mesoscale timescales last from less than a day tothe lifetime ofthe event, which in some cases can be weeks.The events typically of interest are thunderstorms, squall lines, fronts, precipitation bands in tropical and extratropical cyclones, and topographically generated weather systems such as mountain waves and sea and land breezes.[56]

NOAA: Synoptic scale weather analysis.

[edit] Synoptic scale


Main article: Synoptic scale meteorology Synoptic scale meteorology is generally large area dynamics referred to in horizontal coordinates and with respect to time.The phenomena typically described by synoptic meteorology include events like extratropical cyclones, baroclinic troughs and ridges, frontal zones, and to some extent jet streams. All ofthese are typically given on weather mapsfor a specific time.The minimum horizontal scale of synoptic phenomena are limited tothe spacing between surface observation stations.[57]

Annual mean sea surface temperatures.

[edit] Global scale


Global scale meteorology is study of weather patterns related tothe transport of heat fromthe tropicstothe poles. Also, very large scale oscillations are of importance.These oscillations have time periods typically onthe order of months, such asthe Madden-Julian Oscillation, or years, such asthe El Nio-Southern Oscillationandthe Pacific decadal oscillation. Global scale pushesthe thresholds ofthe perception of meteorology into climatology.The traditional definition of climate is pushed in to larger timescales withthe further understanding of howthe global oscillations cause both climate and weather disturbances inthe synoptic and mesoscale timescales. Numerical Weather Prediction is a main focus in understanding air-sea interaction, tropical meteorology,atmospheric predictability, and tropospheric/stratospheric processes.[58]The Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey producestheatmospheric model called NOGAPS, a global scaleatmospheric model, this model is run operationally at Fleet Numerical Meteorology and Oceanography Center. Many other globalatmospheric models are run by national meteorological agencies.

[edit] Some meteorological principles


[edit] Boundary layer meteorology
Boundary layermeteorology isthe study of processes inthe air layer directly above Earth's surface, known asthe atmospheric boundary layer(ABL).The effects ofthe surface heating, cooling, and friction cause turbulent mixingwithinthe air layer. Significant fluxes of heat, matter, or momentum on time scales of less than a day are advected by turbulent motions.[59]Boundary layer meteorology includesthe study of all types of surface-atmosphere boundary, including ocean, lake, urban land and non-urban land forthe study of meteorology.

[edit] Dynamic meteorology


Dynamic meteorology generally focuses onthe fluid dynamicsofthe atmosphere.The idea of air parcelis used to definethe smallest element ofthe atmosphere, while ignoringthe discrete molecular and chemical nature ofthe atmosphere. An air parcel is defined as a point inthe fluid continuum ofthe atmosphere.The fundamental laws of fluid dynamics,thermodynamics, and motion are used to studythe atmosphere.The physical quantities that characterizethe state ofthe atmosphere are temperature, density, pressure, etc.These variables have unique values inthe continuum.[60]

[edit] Applications
[edit] Weather forecasting

Main article: Weather forecasting

Forecast of surface pressures five days intothe future forthe north Pacific, North America, and north Atlantic Ocean Weather forecasting isthe application of science and technology to predictthe state ofthe atmospherefor a future time and a given location. Human beings have attempted to predictthe weather informally for millennia, and formally since at leastthe nineteenth century.[61][62]Weather forecasts are made by collecting quantitative dataaboutthe current state ofthe atmosphere and using scientific understanding ofatmospheric processes to project howthe atmosphere will evolve.[63] Once an all-human endeavor based mainly upon changes in barometric pressure, current weather conditions, and sky condition,[64][65] forecast modelsare now used to determine future conditions. Human input is still required to pickthe best possible forecast model to basethe forecast upon, which involves pattern recognition skills, teleconnections, knowledge of model performance, and knowledge of model biases.The chaoticnature ofthe atmosphere,the massive computational power required to solvethe equations that describethe atmosphere, error involved in measuringthe initial conditions, and an incomplete understanding ofatmospheric processes mean that forecasts become less accurate asthe difference in current time andthe time for whichthe forecast is being made (the rangeofthe forecast) increases.The use of ensembles and model consensus help narrowthe error and pickthe most likely outcome.[66][67][68] There are a variety of end uses to weather forecasts. Weather warnings are important forecasts becausethey are used to protect life and property.[69] Forecasts based on temperature and precipitation are important to agriculture,[70][71][72][73]andtherefore to commodity traders within stock markets. Temperature forecasts are used by utility companies to estimate demand over coming days.[74][75][76]On an everyday basis, people use weather forecasts to determine what to wear on a given day. Since outdoor activities are severely curtailed by heavy rain, snow andthe wind chill, forecasts can be used to plan activities aroundthese events, and to plan ahead and survivethem.

[edit] Aviation meteorology


Aviation meteorology deals withthe impact of weather on air traffic management. It is important for air crews to understandthe implications of weather ontheir flight plan as well astheir aircraft, as noted bythe Aeronautical Information Manual[77]:

The effects of ice on aircraft are cumulative-thrust is reduced, drag increases, lift lessens, and weight increases.The results are an increase in stall speed and a deterioration of aircraft performance. In extreme cases, 2 to 3 inches of ice can form onthe leading edge ofthe airfoil in less than 5 minutes. It takes but 1/2 inch of ice to reducethe lifting power of some aircraft by 50 percent and increasesthe frictional drag by an equal percentage.[78]

[edit] Agricultural meteorology


Meteorologists, soil scientists, agricultural hydrologists, and agronomistsare persons concerned with studyingthe effects of weather and climate on plant distribution, crop yield, water-use efficiency, phenologyof plant and animal development, andthe energy balance of managed and natural ecosystems. Conversely,they are interested inthe role of vegetation on climate and weather.[79]

[edit] Hydrometeorology
Hydrometeorologyisthe branch of meteorology that deals withthe hydrologic cycle,the water budget, andthe rainfall statistics of storms.[80]A hydrometeorologist prepares and issues forecasts of accumulating (quantitative) precipitation, heavy rain, heavy snow, and highlights areas withthe potential for flash flooding. Typicallythe range of knowledge that is required overlaps with climatology, mesoscale and synoptic meteorology, and other geosciences.[81]

[edit] Nuclear meteorology


Nuclear meteorology investigatesthe distribution of radioactive aerosols and gasesinthe atmosphere.[82]

[edit] Maritime meteorology


Maritime meteorology deals with air and wave forecasts for ships operating at sea. Organizations such asthe Ocean Prediction Center, Honolulu National Weather Service forecast office, United Kingdom Met Office, and JMAprepare high seas forecasts forthe world's oceans.

[edit] See also


Main article: Outline of meteorology

Aerography American Practical Navigator Atmospheric circulation Atmospheric layers Atmospheric models Atmospheric thermodynamics Eddy covariance flux (aka,

Index of meteorology articles List of weather instruments List of meteorology institutions List of Russian meteorologists Madden-Julian oscillation Meteorological Winter

Weather portal

eddy correlation, eddy flux) ENSO(El Nio-Southern Oscillation)

National Weatherperson's Day Space weather Walker circulation

[edit] References