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Is Meteorology your future?

Puerto Rican Forecaster Jackie Guerrido from Primer Impacto (a program from the channel Univision)

For many of us, we wake up in the morning and see what the temperature and weather is going to be like. But, not many of us know how and why they occur. Typically, you look at what many people refer to as a “morning weather person” to give you a brief run through. Well, not many adults or young people know that they are called Meteorologists. 

What are meteorologists? The definition of vocabulary.com says, “a specialist who studies processes in the earth’s atmosphere that cause weather conditions”. And so, what do they do exactly? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Meteorologists (also referred to as Atmospheric Scientists) generate weather graphics for the public, report current weather conditions, use computer models that analyze atmospheric data, and issue warnings about severe weather (such as hurricanes and tornadoes).

Not to confuse this with climatology. While in the same area when researching weather conditions, Climatology is a long-term period of analyzing, while Meteorology is more short-term and measures up to at least 10 days.   

To get on the path of meteorology, what do you need to do? From the same Bureau website, getting a bachelor’s degree in meteorology is required and the courses may focus more on the areas of physics, mathematics, and computer program. There are also volunteer opportunities, like participating in the National Weather Service Student Volunteer Summer Program of your state. Depending on your college, there are groups/clubs that give you some practice of forecasting, such as Cardinal Weather Service and Waking Up with Cardinal Weather at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Licenses and certificates are not required, and if you so get into a job with the National Weather Service, they train you on how to use their technology for issuing warnings about severe weather. 

What is amazing about meteorology is that there is constant work as a team work environment, whether in a station, traveling, or researching. There are different areas of jobs, like Broadcast meteorologists, Climatologists, Forensic meteorologists, Research meteorologists, and Weather forecasters. It is important to be aware that this career is a full-time gig as the weather is not the same as it would be from morning, evening, day after, or day after that. There is a need for constant monitoring and getting the most accurate forecast, whether for regular conditions or severe weather conditions. It is important to keep the trust of the public for their safety 24/7.  


Sources:

“Atmospheric Scientists, Including Meteorologists : Occupational Outlook Handbook.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 7 Dec. 2022, https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/atmospheric-scientists-including-meteorologists.htm#tab-3.

“Meteorologist – Definition, Meaning & Synonyms.” Vocabulary.com, https://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/meteorologist.

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