What does a Weather Forecaster do?
As a meteorologist, or weather forecaster, you will study the atmosphere. Since weather is everywhere, meteorologists can be found all over the world doing many different jobs. You potentially could find work as an operational forecaster, a research meteorologist, a teacher, a meteorologist in the military, with airlines, or with industry, such as on radio or TV.
What do you work in and what is your specialty?
I’m a graduate meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology. There is a nine month graduate program where you do training down in Melbourne (after which you get a graduate diploma). Then you can get posted to a capital city to work as a forecaster. Once I finish the graduate diploma with the Bureau of Meteorology, I’ll start working as a weather forecaster. After I get forecasting experience I’d like to work on numerical weather modelling with the Bureau of Meteorology.
How did you become interested in this area and when did you first start?
I studied a lot of numerical methods during my degree and I really enjoyed it.
What study path have you taken to get here?
My Bachelor of Science degree with first class honours gave me a mathematical foundation for studying meteorology which has been really invaluable, there are some seriously big partial differential equations in atmospheric dynamics.
What do you like most about your job?
The main responsibilities are issuing forecasts for the public (7 day forecasts) and issuing routine forecasts for the aviation industry (these are more short-term and specialised). You also get to talk to the media a lot which is really neat.
Do you have any particular career highlights?
I received a Dean’s Commendation for Academic Excellence. One of the highlights of my time at the University of Queensland was submitting my Honours thesis. I also loved the Maths Student Society’s social functions.
What advice would you give to someone interested in working in this area?
If you can help it, don’t skip lectures and tell yourself you’ll catch up on it later! It’s always worth getting out of bed to go, even to the early classes.
Graduate Meteorologist at the Bureau of Meteorology