|BROADCAST METEOROLOGY SKILLS
METEOROLOGIST JEFF HABY
Broadcast meteorology combines passions in weather, communications, technology use, and reporting. There are several education tracks
that a weather broadcaster goes through before and during their career and this will be explained more in posting 3. One of the primary
skills of a weather broadcaster is developing a “following”. Many of these skills take significant time to develop and are a product
of personality matched with experience. By developing a following, this means the broadcasts are enlightening, entertaining and professional.
These qualities attract viewers and followers to the weather broadcasts and their social media posts.
Meteorology skills and communication skills are important, thus many weather broadcasters have degrees in areas such as meteorology,
journalism, communications and electronic media. These areas are often combined by obtaining multiple degrees or using minors. For
example, majoring in meteorology and minoring in communications. Internships at TV stations also add valuable experience and they
look good on the resume’.
Weather Broadcasting skills in meteorology vary from effectively communicating the National Weather Service (NWS) forecast to
developing individual forecasts. Typically a combination of both of these is put into practice. For example, a weather broadcaster
will look over the NWS forecast but also tweak the forecast or change it based on their own judgment. Being able to forecast
involves skills in understanding forecast model tendencies, learning from past weather situations, reading weather charts
and having experience observing the local weather tendencies. Learning meteorology and weather forecasting is not a requirement
for all weather broadcasting positions but advancement into larger markets and higher paying positions is more difficult
without it. Many weather broadcasters seek seals or certification from the National Weather Association (NWA) and the
American Meteorology Society (AMS). These seals and certifications require that certain classes be completed. Passing tests
and tape evaluations are also required. These seals and certifications look good on the resume’ and help the weather broadcaster
develop a professional following.
Meteorology skills by themselves do not make a successful broadcast meteorologist. Communication skills are also important such as
communicating what to do in cases of severe weather. One way to get a strong following is to be a trusted source that people go
to in the case of severe weather. Also, it takes significant practice to look comfortable and with fluid motions on the chroma
key wall while delivering a weather broadcast. Some universities have courses that help develop this skill while many students
learn this skill while working an internship at a TV station. The same can be said for the skills in learning to make computerized
weather graphics. There are several different graphics systems that broadcast meteorologists use to make and sequence the weather
graphics for their show. Many weather broadcasters are employed also as reporters, especially at smaller market stations and
beginning positions. Thus reporting skills are important to develop before starting a career in weather broadcasting.