Meet your Polar Vortex Meteorologist

Meteorologists made the Style section of the The Washington Post today in the article,  “What’s it like to be the voice of the Polar Vortex? These Weathermen Know”  Giving meteorologists an introduction worthy of a movie trailer, Rachel Lubitz asks, “So, what is it like to be the voice of this polar vortex, bringing the grim news about temperatures that are flirting with — and in some cases breaking — record lows?” It is a good introduction into how broadcast meteorologists approach their jobs. But what does it take to be a broadcast meteorologist?

The American Meteorological Society (AMS) Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Program requires a degree in atmospheric science/meteorology or the equivalent. The equivalent includes courses that many physical geoscientists take in college such as intensive atmospheric science, remote sensing, physical geography, oceanography, physics, and math. A 2012 article in Mother Nature News (MNN) on “How to Become a Meteorologist: The first requirement is to have strong enthusiasm for the weather. After that, it gets harder” emphasizes that it is an interdisciplinary field that includes the geosciences. The NOAA National Severe Storms Laboratory outlines career options for meteorologists from operational forecasters for airlines, city planning, and the military to research meteorologists studying climate change.

The Penn State Department of Meteorology, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences posts U.S. and Canada Job Listings. In December, these included jobs working for American Electric Power (AEP), U.S. Geological Survey, EPA, and several news stations.  They are also one of several schools worldwide that offer degrees or online certificates in Weather Forecasting. If you find yourself glued to the Internet, TV, or Radio and wondering what it would be like to be one of the voices of the Polar Vortex, consider taking classes to become a meteorologist.


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