What Does A Broadcast Meteorologist Do (including Their Typical Day at Work)

Alyssa OmandacCareer, Overview

Salary, Job Description, How To Become One, and Quiz

Broadcast Meteorologists

Broadcast Meteorologists present the weather forecast to the public through television, radio, and Internet stations. They often use computer-generated weather maps to illustrate weather patterns and discuss the chance of snow, rain, or severe weather.

Bachelor's degree

If you enjoy the weather and public speaking, you may want to explore a career as a Broadcast Meteorologist. Weathermen and women are the ones responsible for letting the public know when to bundle up for colder weather or wake up early to clear snow from the driveway.

Working as a Broadcast Meteorologist can be a rewarding career with the potential for national exposure. However, not everyone is cut out for this job. It can be a demanding career and requires a strong level of commitment and self-motivation.

What they do

Broadcast Meteorologists present the weather forecast to the public through television, radio, and Internet stations. They often use computer-generated weather maps to illustrate weather patterns and discuss the chance of snow, rain, or severe weather.

Present the Weather Forecast on Air

One of the main responsibilities of a Broadcast Meteorologist is presenting the weather forecast on live television. Many local news programs broadcast the weather forecast every 10 to 15 minutes. You may appear on screen multiple times throughout the day or afternoon, depending on your shift.

When presenting the weather forecast, Broadcast Meteorologists typically stand in front of a green screen or a large LCD television. The use of LCD TVs to display weather maps has started to replace the use of green screens, which allowed editors to add a weather map behind the weather person.

Broadcast Meteorologists often present the forecast at set intervals throughout a news program. However, they may also need to remain on-call to deal with urgent weather events, such as the development of a severe storm or tornado in the viewing area.

Most of the reporting is completed from inside the studio. However, junior Broadcast Meteorologists may occasionally need to report from outdoor locations to give viewers a clearer view of the current weather conditions.

Review Weather Data and Patterns

Before presenting the forecast, Broadcast Meteorologists need to predict the weather. This involves reviewing weather data and patterns.

Broadcast Meteorologists have a variety of tools available for reviewing weather trends. They use maps, instruments, and modeling software to analyze the weather in a specific geographic area. The data is often entered into a computer program that helps evaluate the weather patterns for more accurate forecasts.

Broadcast Meteorologists review weather data each day before deciding how to present the forecast in a way that people can easily understand.

Predict Future Climate Trends and Forecasts

Along with presenting the current weather forecast, Broadcast Meteorologists need to predict future climate trends. They often try to predict the forecast for the coming weeks.

Broadcast Meteorologists may monitor weather patterns that are days away from affecting their local geographical area. By reviewing future climate trends, Broadcast Meteorologists are better prepared to predict the upcoming forecast.

Work with a Team of Meteorologists

Broadcast Meteorologists rarely work alone. They are often part of a team of Meteorologists that includes both on-air and off-air talent. The team may include several interns or entry-level Meteorologists who analyze weather patterns and assist with predicting the weather, along with senior Broadcast Meteorologists who provide on-air forecasts.

The team of Meteorologists works together to develop the weather predictions for the coming days or weeks. The Broadcast Meteorologist then condenses this information for the on-air presentation.

Before presenting the weather forecast on-air, the Broadcast Meteorologist and the rest of the team may also develop graphics and computer simulations. Graphics and simulations help the Meteorologist explain the forecast during the on-air presentation.

Explain Meteorology to Students

Many Broadcast Meteorologists participate in local outreach efforts coordinated with school districts. They may visit schools and explain their jobs to students. This often involves props, slideshows, or video presentations. Broadcast Meteorologists act as ambassadors for the local TV station while encouraging students to explore careers in science.

What is the job like


You Get to Help People Plan Their Days

People often rely on weather forecasts to plan when to perform yard work, go for a jog, and perform other outdoor activities.

You May Get Recognized

If you work on-air, you may start to get recognized out in public, which is often an exciting experience when it first occurs.

You May Gain National Exposure

Many Broadcast Meteorologists remain at local TV stations throughout their careers, but there is always the opportunity for a career on a national TV network or major news outlet.

You Get to Collaborate with Other Meteorologists

Broadcast Meteorologists often work as part of a team, allowing you to rely on others for advice.


People May Blame You When the Weather Is Bad

Residents tend to blame the weather person for bad weather or inaccurate weather forecasts.

Getting Time Off Is Not Always Easy

When working at a small TV station or radio station, you typically have a set schedule and may need to request time off months in advance.

Where they work

Television stations
National media organizations
Satellite weather outlets
Online news outlets

Broadcast Meteorologists typically work for local TV stations. Experienced Broadcast Meteorologists may eventually work for national media organizations, television network morning shows, cable or satellite weather outlets, and radio stations. An increasing number of Broadcast Meteorologists also work for online news outlets.

How to become one

Step 1: Study Science and Math in High School

Aspiring Broadcast Meteorologists should study science and math topics in high school. Physics, trigonometry, and chemistry are important subjects for this career.

Step 2: Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

Most Broadcast Meteorologists earn a Bachelor’s degree in Atmospheric Sciences or Meteorology. Students should also take courses in public speaking, speech, journalism, and communications.

Step 3: Look for Work in a Small Market

After graduating college, Broadcast Meteorologists typically start their careers at local radio stations or TV stations in smaller markets. Apply for positions at stations outside of major cities.

Step 4: Earn a Certified Broadcast Meteorologist (CBM) Designation

Some TV stations and radio stations only hire candidates who have earned the CBM designation from the American Meteorology Society (AMS).

Step 5: Excel at Your Job to Find New Opportunities

Broadcast Meteorologists who are successful in a small market may find it easier to gain employment in larger markets.

Should you become one

Best personality type for this career

You can read more about these career personality types here.

Broadcast Meteorologists require strong communication skills to ensure that their knowledge and weather predictions are effectively understood by the public. Working as a Broadcast Meteorologist also requires interpersonal skills, due to the need to collaborate with Producers and additional on-air talent. Broadcast Meteorologists are also typically passionate about science and weather. Problem-solving skills, mathematical abilities, and computer literacy are also essential traits for analyzing weather data and predicting the forecast.

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