Unravelling air’s secrets—fluid motion dynamics, atmospheric composition, and forecasts. A cosmic dance of safety and science.


Meteorology studies atmospheric phenomena over time scales from hours to decades. This field not only includes the physics, chemistry, and dynamics of the atmosphere, but is also extended to include many of the direct effects and feedbacks of the atmosphere upon the earth’s surface, the oceans, and life in general. The goals of meteorology are the understanding and accurate simulation and prediction of atmospheric phenomena. 

Meteorology matters because it provides vital information and tools for understanding, predicting, and mitigating the impacts of weather and climate on society, the economy, and the environment. Weather predictions may save lives and property as warnings about inclement severe weather, floods, sand storms and even heat waves are created by weather forecasters. The aviation and maritime industries rely heavily on the prediction of poor visibility or large waves and remote sensing of weather phenomena by radar and satellite are utilized by forecasters to make sure you arrive safely at your destination. Seasonal forecasters look months ahead and use phenomena like El Nino and La Nina to predict droughts and above-normal rainfall. Meteorologists also investigate climate patterns by looking at historical patterns but also predicting how the climate will change in the coming decades as temperatures in the atmosphere keep on increasing. Weather prediction relies on sophisticated weather models built on governing laws of physics. Researchers and data scientists use their skills to first investigate the dynamic principles of the motion of air and rain formation and then build these into numerical models. You receive the output from these sophisticated models as a temperature or rainfall forecast on an app on your phone. Industrialization is responsible for large amounts of contaminants in the atmosphere, it pollutes the air we breathe daily.  Meteorologists monitor these harmful substances and use their chemical knowledge to understand how they interact with one another and with natural gasses in the atmosphere such as water vapour.

Our graduates can professionally apply, develop, and communicate meteorological science in many fields for the benefit of society.

Programmes in our department

  • BSc Meteorology
  • BScHons Meteorology
  • MSc Meteorology
  • PhD Meteorology

Students who successfully complete the BSc Meteorology and BSc (Hons) Meteorology programs conform to all the requirements for a meteorologist according to the definition of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Technical Regulations.

Career opportunities

UP graduates in meteorology work as weather forecasters, researchers, climatologists, and lecturers and institutions. Meteorologists are employed by institutions involved in the study, interpretation, and prediction of weather, atmospheric science, and phenomena relating to the climate. The South African Weather Service (SAWS), the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), some universities, agricultural institutions, municipalities, consultants, and industries employ meteorologists who mainly practice as specialists.

- Author Department of Geography, Geoinformatics and Meteorology

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