Meteorologist Job Description
A meteorologist is a scientist who studies the earth’s atmosphere to determine weather conditions and make forecasts. Meteorologists study the physics and dynamics of the earth’s atmosphere to understand, explain and monitor the earth’s climate and weather patterns.
A meteorologist should not be confused with a weather forecaster. A weather forecaster is a person who has little formal education in atmospheric science, and announces weather conditions and forecasts prepared by meteorologists.
A meteorologist should be curious, observant, analytical, methodical and adaptable, and have the ability to use complex scientific equipment. They should also be good at computing, and have good knowledge of physics, mathematics, and atmospheric science.
Pursue a career in meteorology if you have aptitude for physics, math and geography, and passion for events related to weather.
What does a Meteorologist do?
Meteorologists may do some or all of the following:
- analyze and interpret meteorological data and make weather predictions
- study and interpret synoptic reports, maps, photographs and prognostic charts
- create layouts of weathercasts
- perform live weather forecasts
- study and analyze the impact of human activities on the climate
- hold awareness programs and warn people about climate change and severe weather conditions
- provide weather consulting services for industries such as aviation, agriculture, marine etc.
Where does a Meteorologist work?
Meteorologists may work normal office hours or on shifts including evenings, midnights and weekends. Their work is usually office based, but they may travel for research or to attend conferences or seminars.
What is Required to Become a Meteorologist?
To become a meteorologist, you need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in Meteorology, Atmospheric Sciences, or related discipline.
Just to give you an idea, some of the classes that you’ll be taking in college may include:
- Linear algebra
- Differential equations
- Atmospheric Science
- Atmospheric Chemistry
- Electricity and Optics
- Atmospheric Thermodynamics
- Physical and Regional Climatology
- Atmospheric Dynamics
- Physical Meteorology
- Remote sensing of the atmosphere with radar and satellites
A meteorologist may specialize to become any of the following:
- Agricultural meteorologist – a scientist who specializes in the field of agricultural meteorology
- Physical meteorologist – a scientist who specializes in the field of physical meteorology
- Synoptic meteorologist – a scientist who specializes in the field of synoptic meteorology
- Climatologist – a scientist who studies climates
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Meteorologists need to have:
- accuracy and precision
- good memory
- good eyesight
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- analytical and problem solving skills
- observational skills
- practical skills for operating scientific equipment
- time-management and organizational skills
- math and computer skills
- the ability to work well under pressure and concentrate for long periods
- the ability to use scientific knowledge to solve problems
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- knowledge of physics
- knowledge of atmospheric science
- knowledge physical geography
- knowledge of meteorological devices and equipment
Should I be a Meteorologist?
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