Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, General – Undergraduate Program

Weather can be unpredictable. You are all set to for a picnic with friends, and a thunderstorm blows up. Your perfect day is ruined. There is no certainty to weather conditions. Meteorology is the particular field of science that tries to understand and predict short-term weather along with long-term climate changes and processes.

The students of meteorology study the earth’s atmosphere, putting their focus on the weather and how to forecast it. The main areas of study include the physics of the atmosphere, the climate, and chemistry.

If you want to take a major in Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, you should be ready to:

  • Go to graduate school if you are interested in pursuing research
  • Work in laboratories
  • Keep pace with ever-changing technology
  • Solve a lot of problems in calculus, physics, and chemistry
  • Collect and analyse data as well as interpret it, like the speed and direction of a storm

It is helpful if you like the subject of mathematics and computers. This is because meteorology is more than just gazing at weather maps. It is also about advanced mathematics and scientific concepts. If you are someone who has a keen interest in the climate, weather, and the environment, then this major is the ideal one for you.

Key Points to Remember

Before you choose a college, where you will study Atmospheric Sciences and Meteorology, you must remember the following:

  • The degree should allow you to meet the guidelines established by the American Meteorological Society.
  • You should be able to take all the courses that are required if you want to work for the federal government as an entry-level weather forecaster.
  • If the college does not have a major in meteorology, you should be able to take the necessary courses as a student of physics, geography, earth sciences or any other related subject.
  • The school should offer courses in areas like air quality if you have an interest in that type of subject.
  • Opportunities for research should be available if you are inclined towards it.
  • The type of meteorological equipment you have access to.
  • Whether there are broadcasting studios on campus, in case, you want to work in broadcast media.

Main Focus

When you study meteorology, you will learn about forecasting the weather for large areas like whole states and not just cities. You will spend most of your time in the laboratory, where you will have to learn and practice reading computer-generated charts, interpreting complex satellite images, and examining key radar data.

You will finally use what you study to find the answer to questions that people ask every day: Is it going to rain? Should I take an overcoat? Do I need anti-freeze for my car tomorrow?

Image source: Andrew-Art

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