How to become a meteorologist in Rochester NY

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About the job

Meteorologists analyze and interpret data related to the earth’s atmosphere and issue weather forecasts and more.

“At its most basic, meteorologists study the atmosphere,” said Casey Griffin, an assistant professor in the Earth Sciences Department at SUNY Brockport.

You probably know them best as the people who predict the weather on TV and the radio. As Griffin noted, there are several other career paths for meteorologists as well, including:

  • With the National Weather Service, which he called the “pinnacle” of forecasting.
  • Teaching and academia
  • For the military, which employs meteorologists at, for instance, Air Force bases (“I would guess they do specialized forecasts for military operations,” Griffin said.)
  • Private industry, such as transportation, energy and insurance companies

Meteorologists use various tools in their work, including computers, radar and weather balloons. The field has been studied for centuries, but Griffin said “modern” meteorology began during World War II.

Qualities needed

The Weather Channel meteorologist Mike Seidel goes live from Rochester.

An interest and skill set in math and science are important. Meteorologists should be curious and patient, Griffin said. Those who plan to go on TV or radio especially need to have good communication skills.

Meteorologists also need to have computer skills and be able to create “eye-catching graphics” and “appealing-to-the-eye maps,” Griffin added.

He also mentioned tenacity, “for those who love the weather, but don’t realize how complex it is.”

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