Students ask: How do you become a meteorologist?

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In addition to visiting schools, I love when students come and visit us here at WHNT News 19.

Last week, the Monrovia Elementary School “Hawk News Network” came to watch a newscast as well as learn more about the career paths anchors, reporters and meteorologists take in broadcasting.

Students from the HNN asked a question that I receive a lot at school visits:

“How do you become a meteorologist?”

The answer varies, depending on the person you ask and the path they took. Some meteorologists start off as journalists who were reporters or anchors, and they liked telling weather stories so much that they took meteorology classes during their off time and became meteorologists.

Other meteorologists know at an early age that they want to study the weather. After high school, they go to a college that offers meteorology or atmospheric science degrees. They take classes that include physics, chemistry, calculus, differential equations, thermodynamics, atmospheric dynamics, synoptic meteorology, radar/satellite meteorology, and even classes that focus on severe weather or tropical meteorology. This is the path that I took — I knew since I was five years old that I wanted to be a meteorologist, on TV, and so I studied really hard and graduated with my Bachelor of Science in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Georgia Tech. Here in the state of Alabama, both the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) and the University of South Alabama (USA) have programs that specialize in meteorology.

Not all meteorologists work in TV

While there are many people who work in the broadcasting industry as on-camera meteorologists, keep in mind that there are many, MANY more who work off camera as weather producers (the people who create the weather graphics), social media meteorologists, and digital meteorologists who write for the web.

Outside of the broadcasting industry, meteorologists work for the following organizations and companies:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • National Weather Service
  • Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
  • National Hurricane Center
  • Storm Prediction Center
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
  • Airlines like Delta, Southwest, etc
  • Delivery companies like UPS and FedEx
  • And many, many more

So if you have an interest in meteorology but you don’t necessarily want to be on camera, there are still career options out there! If you are interested in meteorology, feel free to reach out for more information.

– Christina Edwards

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