Weather is all around us. It affects our lives every day. Whether there will be rain or not is important for farmers, wind speeds and swell height are important for sailors, and thunderstorms pose a major hazard to pilots and aircraft. It even determines what clothes we decide to put on in the morning!
Meteorology is the study of weather and the Earth’s atmosphere. My job at the Bureau of Meteorology is to forecast the weather. I use my understanding of atmospheric science to predict what the weather will be like up to seven days into the future. To make my predictions I use information from sensors that record temperature, pressure, wind, and rainfall. I also use data from satellite imagery, weather radars, weather balloons, human observations, as well as sophisticated computer models that run simulations of the Earth’s atmosphere.
When I was at school I always enjoyed solving problems and understanding how things work. I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I finished high school, but I was good at maths so I decided to do a Bachelor of Science at MelbourneUniversity. I became interested in the weather half way through my degree. I was looking at the sky and saw a circle of light around the sun that I couldn’t explain. I was fascinated, so I did some research and learnt that the ring of light was called a halo and was caused by the sun’s light refracting through a thin layer of cloud very high in the atmosphere. From then I decided I wanted to learn more about weather and the atmosphere.
After my degree I completed the 10 month training course at the Bureau of Meteorology in Melbourne and then was posted to Hobart to forecast one and a half years ago.
I love meteorology because it allows you to understand the world around you, and use that understanding to gain an idea of what will happen in the future. Being a Meteorologist is a fantastic job because by making the best predictions you can you help people make important decisions about their lives.
For further information: www.bom.gov.au