At the epicentre with a meteorologist
British Science Week kicked off on 6 March, giving you the perfect opportunity to learn more about the planet we call home. If you’re wondering about a career that can help make a difference to the climate, meteorology might be for you.
Young people across the world are rising up and protesting in the name of climate change, campaigning for the bright future you deserve. If you’ve been taking part in the climate strikes, there are plenty of opportunities to turn this passion for the environment into an exciting career.
Ollie Millin is a meteorology and climate student at the University of Reading (UoR) – the same course the nation’s favourite weatherman, STV’s Sean Batty, completed before hitting our screens with the nightly weather forecast.
Here's something pretty mind blowing for you. Tyndrum has had nearly 1000mm of rain in just the first 8 weeks of the year – around 330mm more than normal by this point. This is more rain than places like Aberdeen, Inverness, Ayr and Edinburgh normally get in a WHOLE year!🤯 pic.twitter.com/frTbWSjoVV
— Sean Batty (@SeanBattyTV) March 3, 2020
“From a young age, a lot of my memories involve the weather,” Ollie remembers. “I was always fascinated by heavy snow and other weather events. I wanted to pursue meteorology as a career because of that fascination: the weather is always changing. In this day and age when we’re in a period of climate change, it’s even more important.”
Meteorology is the study of the weather, particularly predicting weather patterns. Living in a time where the climate emergency is at the forefront of everything we do, meteorology is particularly important.
While conditions such as hurricanes, flooding, and heatwaves are becoming more frequent, research done by meteorologists allows us to be prepared for extreme weather conditions, meaning disasters can be avoided, and even lives can be saved.
For Ollie, who is studying a four-year integrated Master’s course, the highlight of his studies came when he travelled to the University of Oklahoma (OU), to take part in a year abroad.
“It’s always quite scary going away and doing a year abroad because you’re leaving what you’re used to for a year, but it’s definitely worth it,” enthuses Ollie. “You meet new people, you learn in a different style and gain from a different culture of living.”
The OU is situated at the epicentre of Tornado Alley – an area of the USA where tornadoes are a frequent occurrence. Not only does this allow you to gain from learning in a new environment, but also get up close and personal with some of nature’s most terrifying phenomena.
It's a mixed picture across the UK this lunchtime. Sunshine and showers across Scotland, mild and cloudy in southern England. There'll be rain on the way for some, stay tuned… pic.twitter.com/qm6751rGMX
— Met Office (@metoffice) March 17, 2020
Research to prevent global warming has never been so important. So, if you’re passionate about the climate and want to use your enthusiasm to pave an exciting career, meteorology could be the field for you.
“It’s important these days to appreciate that our climate has changed and it continues to change,” Ollie advises. “For someone who wants to make an impact, the knowledge you gain at UoR can help you make that difference.”
To discover how you can launch your career in meteorology, visit www.reading.ac.uk/met/