Forecasting and environmental monitoring
If you have a suitable degree and a proven interest in the weather, we can offer you a comprehensive training programme that will provide you with the skills and knowledge you need for a career in weather forecasting. Degree subjects can include meteorology, physics, mathematics, environmental sciences and geography.
We provide an Initial Forecasting Course designed to train and test your meteorological knowledge and build your operational forecasting experience.
- Observing methods and equipment
- Analysing and interpreting various data, including surface observations, satellite and radar imagery and products for Numerical Weather Prediction models.
- Aspects of meteorological theory
- Practical forecasting, including forecasting techniques, scriptwriting, forecast delivery and customer requirements.
During the on-the-job training you will work under the close supervision of a qualified forecaster, producing products in real-time for real customers. Towards the end of your training, you'll be required to complete a competence assessment against the National Occupational Standards that underpin NVQ Level 4 in Meteorological Forecasting. Once you have successfully demonstrated your skills you'll be ready to take up post as a forecaster at the Met Office.
As a Met Office forecaster, the main tasks you would carry out would be:
- Delivering a range of forecast products and services tailored to individual customers.
- Analysing and enhancing forecast model products and, using local knowledge, delivering them to customers in a style that suits their requirements.
- Actively contributing to the team decision-making process and issuing weather warnings as necessary.
- Taking responsibility for operational output; the provision of advice and assistance on operational output and getting products and services to internal and external customers.
- Supporting other team members as required to deliver forecast products and services to meet customers' needs.
Patterns and places of work
The majority of forecaster posts involve shift working, with the pattern dependent on the customer and location. Shifts can vary, with additional shifts to cover peaks in demand and in some cases standby shifts during quiet periods. However, typical shift working involves 12 hour shifts covering days and nights. Our forecasters provide weather predictions for customers around-the-clock, 365 days a year.
As well as at our twin Operations Centres in Exeter and Aberdeen, Met Office forecasters are based at many Royal Air Force (RAF) and Army Air Corps stations throughout the UK and overseas. Sites include the South Atlantic, Cyprus, Germany and Gibraltar and the Antarctic, supporting the British Antarctic Survey.
Other forecasting career opportunities
Mobile Met. Unit
Met Office observers, forecasters and support engineers form the Mobile Met Unit (MMU). The MMU operates in uniform, providing essential frontline meteorological support to our Armed Forces and those of our allies in joint operations and exercises at home and abroad. Find out more about theMMU.
Marine offshore consultancy
We provide a consultancy service to a number of high profile customers within the commercial marine industry. This gives our weather forecasters the opportunity of working at sea.
Met Office college
Our college delivers high quality meteorology training to Met Office staff and, increasingly, external customers. Our trainers deliver courses to the required standards set by the Met Office and appropriate accreditation organisations. For weather forecaster training this is to the standards of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). While most training takes place at the college, sometimes there may be a need to work elsewhere in the UK and abroad.
Entry requirements and selection criteria
You need to ensure you structure your application to address each of these essential criteria:
- A degree or equivalent in Meteorology, a Physical Science or Maths
- Ability in Mathematics and Physics at AS-Level or higher (or equivalent, e.g. as part of a degree course)
- Demonstrate your interest in the weather and how it impacts on you
- Evidence of contributing effectively as a member of a team
- Proven ability that you ensure people get the information they need, on time and in an appropriate manner and format.
- An appreciation of customer needs and the importance of good customer service
Observations (environmental monitoring)
- Network Specialists
- Network Coordinators
- Regional Network Officers
- Data Analysts
- Observations Network Team Leader
- Observation Station Managers
- Observations Network Manager
- Observations Operations Manager
- Observations Programme Manager
- Acquiring, maintaining and developing the required underpinning knowledge and skills about forecasting.
- Acquiring, maintaining and developing the required underpinning knowledge and skills about observing networks/systems.
- Making and/or quality controlling meteorological observations
- Designing and/or managing observing networks/systems
- Evaluating and interpreting meteorological information to provide forecasting services to external customers.
- Dealing with a variety of media, including briefing external customers and making weather broadcasts.
- Providing written services to external customers
- Prioritising work and dealing with critical situations in real time, and improving services to customers.
To find out more about our vacancies follow the link below.