About 400 B.C. Aristotle wrote “Meteorologica.” That is the title of a book that basically was concerned with the study of things lifted up. Some of his writing pertained to things within the atmosphere. That, I guess, is the earliest attempt to understand or explain the weather.
As time passed, the study of atmospheric conditions was very inaccurate until instruments were invented that would, with some accuracy, allow weather forecasters to predict coming weather events. With the invention of the telegraph in the mid 19th Century and the advancement of the knowledge of thermodynamics and hydrodynamics together helped develop the science of meteorology.
The telegraph allowed weather data to be transmitted within a short period of time and weather observation stations were located throughout the Country for the purpose of gathering such information for which weather maps could then be created.
During WWI the modern science of meteorology was developed and advanced by Vilhelm Bjerknes. So too, more precise instruments were invented that would measure atmospheric conditions, such as wind speed and direction, air pressure and temperature at low and high altitudes within the atmosphere. Weather fronts could now be identified together with the cyclonic rotation of localized weather events.
From this data records continue to be maintained that provide a history of weather conditions that produced the weather created during those particular points of time. So, from the knowledge of past events together with the known atmospheric conditions that caused those events, it is now possible to reasonably forecast a future weather event for most places within our World.
The invention of weather satellites, weather radar and Doppler radar has furthered the advance of the science of meteorology to the point where a knowledgeable person can, with greater accuracy, forecast the regional weather for up to a week in advance.
I suppose that the next step will be an attempt to actually control the weather for the benefit of Mankind. How nice it would be if it was possible to neutralize the forces of a hurricane, tornado or other violent weather event.
Maybe some day within the future that too will be possible. Yes and a solution for the end of global warming would probably save tens of billions of dollars, together with saving the lives of tens of thousands of people. After all, the true purpose of forecasting the weather is to save the lives and the property of those people who would otherwise suffer greatly from a violent and most sudden weather event. That, and for no other reason, is why the science of meteorology continues to be advanced for the good of Mankind.