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  •  Are you fascinated with weather related events, such as hurricanes and tornadoes?  

  • Is the patter of the rain and the flash of lightning on your list of “Favorite Things”?  

  • Do you have skills to analyze and interpret data (crunch numbers)?  

  • Are math and science your favorite subjects at school?

  • Are you able to communicate effectively with others?  

  • Are you up to date with the latest social media (Twitter, Facebook, etc.)?

If you answered Yes to these questions, you may have the groundwork to begin the journey to the exciting world of a meteorology career.  Continue reading to investigate the basic career path of a meteorologist.

High School

Beyond the fascination with weather and atmospheric phenomena, the journey begins in the halls of your local high school.  Students interested in pursuing meteorology should enroll in the school’s College Preparatory programs offered.  Courses that should be taken are

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  • Chemistry

  • Physics

  • Earth Sciences

  • Algebra

  • Geometry

  • Calculus

  • Statistics

  • Computer Sciences  

  • Foreign Languages are a plus!!!!

As your high school term begins to draw to an end, begin researching colleges or universities that have Meteorological or Atmospheric Science Programs.

 

 

College/University

So, you have arrived at an institution of higher learning.  Meteorological students should focus on colleges and universities that offer programs that are aligned to American Meteorological Society (AMS) and National Weather Service (NWS) standards.  So, what are some of the classes you can expect to experience for your undergrad degree?

  • Calculus I, II, & III

  • Physics I & II

  • Chemistry

  • Computer Science

  • Earth Systems

  • Atmospheric Dynamics

  • Atmospheric Chemistry

  • Radar and Satellite Meteorology

     

For those pursuing graduate level degrees, coursework should reflect the specific meteorological career you are interested in.   What are some examples of meteorological scientists?

  • Atmospheric scientists (operational forecaster) -  This is the meteorologist that the public is the most familiar with.  Forecasters are the scientists that we see and hear on the television with the predictions of local weather.  How do they make these predictions?  Using various weather instruments, these scientists study Earth’s air pressure, temperature, humidity, and wind velocity.  Then they apply physical and mathematical relationships to make both short-range and long-range weather forecasts that are distributed through television, radio, and internet. The real time data that they utilize comes from weather satellites, radars, sensors, and stations located in many parts of the world. With this information, meteorologists use sophisticated computer models of the world’s atmosphere to make long-term, short-term, and local-area forecasts that are used by farmers, pilots, military personnel, as well as the average person.

  • Physical meteorologists - These scientists study the atmosphere’s chemical and physical properties, as well as  the transmission of light, sound, and radio waves,  and the transfer of energy in the atmosphere. Physical meteorologists also study factors affecting the formation of clouds, rain, and snow.  This could include the dispersal of air pollutants over urban areas,  and other weather phenomena, such as the mechanics of severe storms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.

  • Synoptic meteorologists - This type of meteorologists develop new tools and technology for weather forecasting.  Synoptic meteorologists use computers and sophisticated mathematical models of atmospheric activity to monitor and analyze the data.

  • Climatologists - While most meteorologists study the immediate weather patterns, climatologists study climatic variations spanning hundreds or even millions of years. To investigate climatic shifts, they may collect, analyze, and interpret past records of wind, rainfall, sunshine, and temperature in specific areas or regions of the world. The studies from climatologists are used to design buildings, plan heating and cooling systems, and aid in effective land use and agricultural production around the world.

 

After Your Degree..... 

 

Finally!!!  You have a degree in meteorology.  Now, what to do with it.....  Consider the following meteorological based jobs...

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  • Forecasting weather at local or state weather station

  • Track hurricanes (possibly even fly into them!!!)

  • Chase tornadoes

  • Monitor droughts and effects on local economy

  • Work with NASA

  • Prepare citizens for severe weather

  • Predict weather to provide information for avionics (flight)

  • Forecast weather for military encounters

  • Atmospheric research to study global warming and other climate concerns

  • Monitoring rainfall for agriculture

  • Assist forensic scientists in criminal cases

  • Creating computer models for weather and climate phenomena

  • Invent innovative atmospheric and climate technology

  • Teach future meteorologists 

 

Continue the Search into a Future Career

Want more information?  Check out the following websites.