Meteorological Specialists


Meteorological Specialists

Weather information is important for planning military operations. Accurate weather forecasts are needed to plan troop movements, airplane flights, and ship traffic. Meteorological specialists collect information about weather and sea conditions for use by meteorologists. They make visual observations and take readings from weather equipment, radar scans, and satellite photographs.

Job Details:

What They Do:

Meteorological specialists in the military perform some or all of the following duties:
  • Launch weather balloons to record wind speed and direction
  • Identify the types of clouds present and estimate cloud height and amount of cloud cover
  • Take readings of barometric pressure, temperature, humidity, and sea conditions
  • Operate radio equipment to receive information from satellites
  • Plot weather information on maps and charts
  • Forecast weather based on readings and observations

Work Environment:

Meteorological specialists usually work in offices either on land or aboard ships. They work outdoors when making visual weather observations and launching weather balloons.

Training Provided:

Job training consists of 7 to 18 weeks of classroom instruction. Training length varies depending on specialty. Advanced training in weather forecasting is available for some specialties. Course content typically includes:
  • Basic meteorology (study of weather) and oceanography (study of the ocean)
  • Methods of plotting weather data
  • Analyzing radar and satellite weather information
  • Preparation of weather reports

Opportunities:

The services have over 4,000 meteorological specialists. Each year, they need new specialists due to changes in personnel and the demands of the field. After job training, new specialists collect weather information under the supervision of experienced workers. With experience, they perform more complex collection and analysis tasks and may become weather forecasters. Eventually, they may become managers of weather observation units.