People have been trying to predict the weather since ancient times, but today scientists are able to make more accurate guesses. The weather is one of the most unpredictable natural phenomena in the world, but there’s really nothing stopping you from taking a crack at it.
The study of the weather is called meteorology. People who used to be called weather forecasters are now called meteorologists. The difference between mere weather forecasters and meteorologists today is that the meteorologist has a degree in meteorology, while an ordinary weather forecaster only looks good on TV while saying words off a teleprompter which for the most part, they don’t really understand.
The importance of predicting the weather cannot be underestimated. Meteorologists can warn people of impending storms, hurricanes, and tornadoes. They help in scheduling important events such as military campaigns, or even assist in the development of various technological advances in weather reporting.
Undergraduate Meteorology Programs
Technically speaking, meteorology is the study of the atmosphere and how its changes affect the earth and the environment. In many schools, meteorology is often called Atmospheric Sciences instead.
To get into a good school, you’ll need to have an excellent academic performance across the board in high school and high scores in standardized tests. Most programs will require you to have a strong background in computers, math, geology, physics, and chemistry.
The courses you’ll take will include various courses in physics, chemistry, statistics, and calculus. Other subjects will include geology, weather systems, tropical meteorology, atmospheric physics and dynamics, and physical climatology. Those who are leaning towards broadcasting will also need a basic knowledge of journalism.
You can also specialize or choose a concentration, such as climatology, environmental meteorology, or atmospheric sciences.
While several graduates go on to get postgraduate degrees (master’s and doctorates), those who have a bachelor’s degree in Meteorology can apply for various positions right away. Your work may involve the use of computer models, radar information, and satellite info to help you predict changes in the atmosphere.
Numerous government positions are available in this field, as various government agencies require knowledge of weather forecasting for their work. You may also want to go into broadcast journalism. Today, the people you see talking about the weather for TV news mostly have a meteorology degree.
Numerous other private companies hire meteorologists for their work, and consulting firms also have positions for graduates with Meteorology degrees. For example, Farm agencies and large scale food production companies can use your knowledge so that they can design procedures and structures that will adapt to the local weather.
Other potential employers are construction firms, utility companies and environmental groups.
Top Universities for Meteorology
A good school can help you enter an excellent graduate program, or find employment quickly right after graduation. The top schools for Meteorology include Pennsylvania State University, University of Oklahoma, Florida State University, Rutgers University, and Cornell University. Other schools you should consider are University of Oklahoma, Texas A&M University, Purdue University, Colorado State University, and University of California Los Angeles.