Atmospheric science and meteorology are the study of the behavior and predictability of the Earth’s atmosphere. The atmosphere is a fluid system that responds to and is understood as being affected by a wide range of physical, chemical and energy processes. Atmospheric science also studies the societal and economic impacts of weather and climate. Atmospheric science stresses the interaction of weather and climate, and seeks to understand and improve techniques addressing the practical problems of weather forecasting and climate prediction. Environmental issues such as extended periods of drought, air pollution, global warming, microclimate preservation, ozone layer deterioration and acid rain are of growing importance to society.
What is meteorology?
Meteorology is the study of weather and weather forecasting. Military operations such as troop movements, airplane flights, missile launches, and ship movements rely on accurate weather information.
What do meteorologists do?
Accurate weather forecasts can save lives and equipment in military operations. Meteorologists study weather conditions and prepare current and long range weather forecasts. You begin your career directing data collection and interpreting weather maps, observation data, and satellite information. As you gain leadership and forecasting skills, you will serve in positions of increasing responsibility. As a meteorologist, you also supervise enlisted weather observers. Weather observers collect information about weather and sea conditions for use by meteorologists. They make visual observations and take readings from weather equipment, radar scans and satellite photographs.
Where do meteorologists work?
Most meteorology officers work in weather stations or weather support units at military bases in the U.S. and overseas. Some work in global weather centers. Others work in command and control centers aboard ships at sea. Civilian meteorologists work for government agencies, radio and television stations, and airlines. They perform duties similar to those performed by military meteorologists.
High School: The first step for a student in considering a career in meteorology or atmospheric sciences is to opt in favor of physical science courses and mathematics.
An interest in the physical sciences and mathematics is the essential element for a career in meteorology. Courses in earth sciences can also provide a valuable insight into the atmospheric environment. It is very important to become familiar with the use of computers and their application to problem-solving, writing and communication. In the simplest of terms, high school students should take every mathematics, physics and computer course that is available. They should also develop basic skills in written and spoken English to communicate scientific knowledge.
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