Meteorology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and short term forecasting (in contrast with climatology). Studies in the field stretch back millennia, though significant progress in meteorology did not occur until the eighteenth century. The nineteenth century saw breakthroughs occur after observing networks developed across several countries. Breakthroughs in weather forecasting were achieved in the latter half of the twentieth century, after the development of the computer.

Meteorological phenomena are observable weather events which illuminate and are explained by the science of meteorology. Those events are bound by the variables that exist in Earth's atmosphere: They are temperature, air pressure, water vapor, and the gradients and interactions of each variable, and how they change in time. The majority of Earth's observed weather is located in the troposphere.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 chemistry are sub-disciplines of the atmospheric sciences. Meteorology and hydrology compose the interdisciplinary field of hydrometeorology. Interactions between Earth's atmosphere and the oceans are part of coupled ocean-atmosphere studies. Meteorology has application in many diverse fields such as the military, energy production, transport, agriculture and construction.