Dear Tom,
What is the derivation of the word, “meteorology”?
-April Thompson

Dear April,
It goes back to early Greece. Greek philosophers of that era conducted the earliest known studies of the weather. It was in that period that Aristotle wrote Meterologica (340 BC), a seminal work discussing  various atmospheric phenomena, as well as geology, astronomy and oceanography. Back then, the word “meteor” referred to rain, snow, hail, clouds, etc., any substance that fell from the sky or was suspended in the air. Even today, cloud physicists and other scientists refer to raindrops as hydrometeors. Since most of Aristotle’s Meteorologica dealt with weather phenomena and his views on how they occurred, “meteorology” came to be used when referring to the study of weather.