Last updated
Project Vortex- filming a potentially tornadogenic storm.jpg
Meteorologist studying tornadoes during VORTEX projects
SynonymsWeather forecaster
Activity sectors
Education required
Minimum B.Sc. in meteorology
Fields of
Research, teaching and operational

A meteorologist is a scientist who studies and works in the field of meteorology aiming to understand or predict Earth's atmospheric phenomena including the weather. [1] Those who study meteorological phenomena are meteorologists in research, while those using mathematical models and knowledge to prepare daily weather forecasts are called weather forecasters or operational meteorologists. [2]


Meteorologists work in government agencies, private consulting and research services, industrial enterprises, utilities, radio and television stations, and in education. They are not to be confused with weather presenters, who present the weather forecast in the media and range in training from journalists having just minimal training in meteorology to full fledged meteorologists.


Meteorologists study the Earth's atmosphere and its interactions with the Earth's surface, the oceans and the biosphere. Their knowledge of applied mathematics and physics allows them to understand the full range of atmospheric phenomena, from snowflake formation to the Earth's general climate. [3]

Operational meteorologist at the US Storm Prediction Center, 2006 Norman OK meteorologist.png
Operational meteorologist at the US Storm Prediction Center, 2006

Research meteorologists are specialized in areas like: [3]

Operational meteorologists, also known as forecasters: [3] [4]

Meteorologists can also be consultants for private firms in studies for projects involving weather phenomena such as windfarms, tornado protection, etc. They finally can be weather presenters in the media (radio, TV, internet).


In 1894, a group of US Weather Bureau forecasters at work PSM V45 D348 Forecasters at work in washington.jpg
In 1894, a group of US Weather Bureau forecasters at work

To become a meteorologist, a person must take at least one undergraduate university degree in meteorology. [3] For researchers, this training continues with higher education, while for forecasters, each country has its own way of training. [3] For example, the Meteorological Service of Canada and UK Met Office have their own training course after the university, while Météo-France takes charge of all the training once the person has passed the entrance examination at the National School of Meteorology after high school. [5] In United States, forecasters are hired by the National Weather Service or private firms after university, and receive on-the-job training, while researchers are hired according to their expertise. [6]

In some countries there is a third way for weather presenters, such as in United States, where a graduate in meteorology and communication at the college or university level can be hired by media.

Some notable meteorologists

See also

Related Research Articles

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Jacob Bjerknes Norwegian meteorologist

Jacob Aall Bonnevie Bjerknes was a meteorologist. He is known for his key paper in which he pointed the dynamics of the polar front, mechanism for north-south heat transport and for which he was also awarded with a doctorate degree from University of Oslo.

Edward Norton Lorenz American mathematician

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Erik Palmén

Erik Herbert Palmén was Finnish meteorologist, born in Vaasa. He worked at the University of Chicago in the Chicago school of meteorology on cyclones and weather fronts with Vilhelm Bjerknes. He contributed to the explanation of the dynamics of the jet stream and the analysis of data collected by radiosondes; his preprocessed and quality checked datasets were widely used by other researchers. Palmen was a multisided researcher who published articles in meteorology, geophysics and oceanography. The 1969 book by Palmen and Chester W. Newton, "Atmospheric Circulation Systems: Their Structure and Interpretation", is still used as lecture material in the universities around the world.

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  1. Glickman, Todd S. (June 2009). Meteorologist (electronic). Meteorology Glossary (2nd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: American Meteorological Society . Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  2. Glickman, Todd S. (June 2009). Weather forecaster (electronic). Meteorology Glossary (2nd ed.). Cambridge, Massachusetts: American Meteorological Society . Retrieved November 12, 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 "Meteorologist: Job Description". 2020. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  4. National Weather Service (2019). NOAA (ed.). "Careers in Meteorology" . Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  5. "Admission et concours" (in French). Météo-France. 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2019. Ce concours peut se passer après le lycée, pour le grade de technicien ou après une licence ou des classes préparatoires pour devenir ingénieur. Le candidat qui a réussi le concours peut même être payé pendant ses études s'il travaille à terme pour Météo-France pendant 10 ans. Il a le statut de fonctionnaire.
  6. "Careers in the National Weather Service". NWS JetStream. NOAA. 2019. Retrieved November 9, 2019.
  7. Raymond, Reding. Beaufort: l'amiral du vent: une vie de Sir Francis Beaufort (1774-1857) (in French). ISBN   9782361995591. OCLC   1013596077.
  8. Robert Marc, Friedman (1993). Appropriating the weather : Vilhelm Bjerknes and the construction of a modern meteorology . Cornell University Press. ISBN   9780801481604. OCLC   30264429.
  9. "Time Magazine Cover: Carl-Gustaf Rossby". December 17, 1956. Retrieved March 5, 2020.