Meteorology, a discipline of geophysics, the study of physical and chemical phenomena in the atmosphere and their interaction with the solid and liquid surfaces of Earth and with extraterrestrial space.
In Austria, the scientific study of meteorological phenomena was promoted in 1851 when the Zentralanstalt für Meteorologie und Erdmagnetismus (later Geodynamik) was founded by a decree promulgated by Emperor Franz Joseph upon a proposal by the Academy of Sciences. Its first director was the former director of the Prague observatory, K. Kreil. He was followed by Director O. Jelinek, the founder of weather telegraphy. From 1863 onwards, daily telegrams describing weather conditions were exchanged between Vienna and Trieste, and the first Austrian weather map was published on October 1, 1865. The first International Congress of Meteorology was held in Vienna in 1873, when the International Meteorological Organisation, IMO, the forerunner of the World Meteorological Organisation, WMO was founded, and publication of a daily telegraphic weather report with a synoptic map and reports from 60 weather stations in Europe began on January 1, 1877. The international renown of the Austrian school of meteorology was largely based on the work of J. F. von Hann, whose descriptive climatological studies in large part remain valid to this day. It was under the guidance of Hann that construction of the observatory on the summit of Sonnblick mountain (3105 m) was undertaken in 1886, which greatly advanced research into the upper strata of the atmosphere and the study of Alpine meteorology (Foehn). Hann should also be given credit for the establishment of Chairs of Meteorology and Geophysics at all Austrian universities. Other important representatives of the Austrian school of meteorology were M. Pernter, whose main field was the study of atmospheric optics, M. Margules and Felix Exner-Ewarten, with theoretical work in the field of dynamic meteorology, and H. Ficker, with his studies on foehn and other wind systems. W. Schmidt was one of the founders of modern microclimatology and bioclimatology. Since the Second World War important work has been carried out by F. Steinhauser and F. Lauscher in the field of climatology, F. Sauberer and I. Dirmhirn in bioclimatology and radiation studies and H. Reuter with publications in the field of theoretical and synoptic meteorology.