An almost exact science

© Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) © Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA)
© Rob Hine/ECMWF © Rob Hine/ECMWF
© Météo-France © Météo-France
© Rob Hine/ECMWF © Rob Hine/ECMWF

A branch of physics, certainly an earth science, meteorology remains no less of a complex discipline. Forecasting what will change, giving order to chaos, resolving unresolvable equations: all this lies within the field of meteorology. Nevertheless, for several years, this discipline has had to adapt to an increasingly demanding public, which requires super-precise weather forecasts but remains particularly sceptical – “they get it wrong every time!” Faced with such challenges, meteorology must constantly find the right balance: speaking of what is certain, and stopping – at the risk of appearing imprecise – when uncertainty arises. Added to this is the obligation of announcing extreme weather events as far as possible, without alarming the public at the smallest breeze… The credibility of the profession is always at stake. Nonetheless, meteorology can count on scientific advances. In 50 years, information and the arrival of satellites has enabled meteorology to develop by leaps and bounds. But “murky” areas remain today, a lack of understanding of how the atmospheric system works, theoretical obstacles, logistic gaps needed to make forecasts more precise. In all laboratories across the world, as well as in the field, scientific research is working to move this field towards perfection.