Why are weather forecasters called meteorologists?

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Dear Tom,
Why are you called a meteorologist? Meteors are astronomical, not meteorological. How did the meaning originate?

Fred Attender

Dear Fred,
The derivations of many words in the English language can to traced to the languages and literature of ancient cultures, and such is the case with “meteorology.” The word dates back to early Greece, when anything that was suspended in the air or fell from the sky (clouds, rain, rainbows, meteorites, etc.) was referred to as a “meteor.”
Aristotle (384 B.C.) presented a series of treatises on natural phenomena in 340 B.C. Entitled “Meteorologica,” they covered that era’s knowledge of weather, astronomy and related subjects. Because much of “Meteorologica” dealt with weather, the term “meteorology” became linked with weather and atmospheric studies.


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