For example, many meteorologists work for the government, helping road crews and schools get ready for snow — and snow closings! Other meteorologists tell power companies how cold or hot it will be, so they can make sure there’s enough power to keep homes warm in the winter or cool in the summer.
Meteorologists also tell airplane pilots if the weather is safe to take off or land. And they tell farmers if the weather will be good for planting fruits and vegetables.
Not all meteorologists predict the weather. Some study the weather to learn more about how it works. Others build computers that help to predict the weather or how our climate (the average weather over many years) might change. Some meteorologists become teachers to help others understand weather and how it affects the world around us.
Meteorologists use a lot of math, science and computers. So it’s a good idea to work hard at these subjects if you’re interested in the weather. You’ll also want to learn good writing and speaking skills so that you can explain the weather to other people.
And you always need to be ready for the unexpected. No matter how hard we try to predict the weather, sometimes it surprises us. Then again, that’s what makes weather so much fun!
KidsPost asked some of Washington’s TV meteorologists what advice they have for kids who want to follow in their footsteps.
— Dan Stillman
Doug Hill, ABC 7
Doug Hill knows exactly when he became interested in the weather. “Lightning hit my house on my seventh birthday,” he said. “That’s when it started.”
Hill’s path to becoming a TV weather forecaster was different from most. He first was a police officer for Prince George’s County. “Then, one day, a light bulb went on inside my head. . . . I could do weather forecasting for a living!”
What he likes most about his job is “being on TV and radio when the weather is really, really bad and being able to tell everyone what is happening and why it is happening.”
Hill has a few ideas for those who want to learn more about the weather: “Learn the basics of how the weather works. Keep watching the sky. Keep logs and journals of the weather in your area. Maybe even get a basic weather station.”
Sue Palka, FOX 5
Sue Palka’s interest in weather and science can be traced to her father, who was a science teacher. But she didn’t know she wanted to be a meteorologist until a TV station asked her to try out for a weather-forecasting job.
“I wanted to be a teacher,” Palka said. “I took a risk and decided to explore this career path. I was hired for the first weather job I applied for.”
Palka has flown into the eye of a hurricane and gone tornado chasing with scientists. What she likes most about her job is making the weather forecast enjoyable and easy to understand.