|hydrometeorology (hī'drō-mē'tē-ə-rŏl'ə-jē) Pronunciation Key
The scientific study of the interaction between meteorological and hydrologic phenomena, including the occurrence, motion, and changes of state of atmospheric water, and the land surface and subsurface phases of the hydrologic cycle. Hydrometeorologic studies address questions regarding land use, the long-term effects of climate change on water resources, and regional precipitation.
branch of meteorology that deals with problems involving the hydrologic cycle, the water budget, and the rainfall statistics of storms. The boundaries of hydrometeorology are not clear-cut, and the problems of the hydrometeorologist overlap with those of the climatologist, the hydrologist, the cloud physicist, and the weather forecaster. Considerable emphasis is placed on determining, theoretically or empirically, the relationships between meteorological variables and the maximum precipitation reaching the ground. These analyses often serve as the bases for the design of flood-control and water-usage structures, primarily dams and reservoirs. Other concerns of hydrometeorologists include the determination of rainfall probabilities, the space and time distribution of rainfall and evaporation, the recurrence interval of major storms, snow melt and runoff, and probable wind tides and waves in reservoirs. The whole field of water quality and supply is of growing importance in hydrometeorology.
Learn more about hydrometeorology with a free trial on Britannica.com.