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By Carey Bourdier
Obviously, most people’s first thought about meteorology features an image of a smartly dressed man or women standing behind a local map telling us all about our local weather. Another common image is that of an adventurous storm chaser capturing images of tornadoes. Beyond those images, there are many different types of meteorologists, all of whom are dedicated to learning as much as they can about atmospheric phenomena.

The branch of meteorology that is most familiar to most of us is operational meteorology. Operational meteorologists are tasked with studying the patterns of weather as well as tracking storm systems and other weather events. An operational meteorologist also is the person that will use this data to help predict the weather. Your first step to becoming an operational meteorologist will be to study and earn a bachelor’s degree in this science. Along the way you will learn how to use high-tech computer programs and satellite systems as well as many different optical instruments such as a barometer or perhaps an observation balloon theodolite.

Atmospheric meteorology is yet another branch of meteorology to consider, and this one actually is quite similar to the aforementioned branch of operational meteorology. It has perhaps a larger scope, however, and while you will gather a great deal of data, it will be used to study topics such as the effect of droughts on the atmosphere or the effect of air pollution on the atmosphere. Again, this professional will make use of various optical instruments, such as the observational balloon theodolite as well as a barometer and anemometer in addition to learning about collecting data from satellites.

If you wish to study changes in weather and weather trends, another option would be to become a climatologist. In many ways, you will be studying the same type of data that atmospheric meteorologist study, but you will go back farther in time. In fact, you will look at historical and ancient weather data as well as looking back at climate changes that occurred millions of years ago. Rather than working with theodolites and anemometers, you might instead look at ice core samples and other items that provide clues about the history of weather on our planet.

While a forensic meteorologist might not get outside and use a theodolite or equipment, they can be called on to help solve crimes or perhaps testify in both civil and criminal lawsuits as an expert witness. A forensic meteorologist will study historical data and make a determination regarding weather conditions during a specific event, such as a large-scale traffic accident, an airplane crash or perhaps for an insurance claim of some type. This person would testify as to the exact temperatures as well as the rainfall, humidity level and other weather-related phenomena that occurred at specific time or time period.

These are just a few of the branches of meteorology that you might consider studying if you are interested in any type of weather-related or climate-related career. Not only will you learn how to use interesting computer programs, satellite systems and optical tools such as the observation balloon theodolite, you can help better prepare people for upcoming weather events and climate changes.

About the Author:

Interesting Careers In Meteorology

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