Feb
12

Women in Science: Meteorologist Megan Salois

Women in Science: Meteorologist Megan Salois

By: Megan Salois, WHO-HD Channel 13 meteorologist

The weather is amazing.

Since I was a little girl, the beauty, the power and the ferocity of the weather would mystify and even scare me! I loved laying outside in the grass and look up at the clouds, wondering why clouds float.

I grew up in Georgia, and one of the biggest weather stories was the Blizzard of 1993. I remember watching hours of coverage of the snow (every time I took a break from playing outside). For Christmas, my mom purchased the local news station's compilation VHS of their blizzard coverage. I still have that tape today!

When I would hear a rumble of thunder while playing outside, I'd rush indoors to turn on the television and watch my favorite meteorologist, WSB-TV's Glenn Burns, tracking the storm. I'll admit I was a little scared... This fear and awe is what led me to want to learn more about the calm and the danger of weather. If I knew what caused a storm and I knew that I could track the storm, I knew I could control my fate when it came to the affect any storms may have on me.

A day in the life of a meteorologist

As a broadcast meteorologist, I'm able to reach out on a regular basis and share my love of the weather with the community. I can also benefit the community by helping to make them aware of severe weather that may have a significant impact on their lives.

The job of a broadcast meteorologist involves a mix of science, creativity and communication. I love that I can come into work, delve into the future weather possibilities for Central Iowa and then create maps and graphics using computers to explain to my audience how the weather will influence their day. I'm a naturally social person, so it’s fun to have a dialogue with my viewers and co-anchors about the weather on a daily basis. I also love the outreach involved in visiting area schools and sharing what I know about the weather with kids.

Interested in a career in meteorology?

To become a broadcast meteorologist, you'll need to plan on going to a four-year college after graduating high school. Some meteorologists on TV studied broadcast journalism, as well as took a few extra years of coursework to earn a certificate in broadcast meteorology. Other broadcast meteorologists go straight to the science and work their way through a four-year program to earn a degree in meteorology.

If you love the weather but don’t want to be on television, there are other weather-related careers! For example:

  • You can work for the National Weather Service as a meteorologist.
  • There are meteorologist firms that forecast privately for farmers and city road crews to prepare for weather that may affect them.
  • You can join the U.S Air Force and forecast the weather for the military.
  • Big sporting events often times hire meteorologist to focus on the weather during their event to make sure everyone participating stays safe!
  • You can even become a storm chaser and take people on wild adventures across the country to try to catch a tornado with your own eyes.
  • And everyday citizens can become storm spotters for the National Weather Service. No meteorology degree is required for that! You just need to go to one of the National Weather Services training courses!

The sky is the limit with a career or interest in the weather!

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For more information on Megan’s forecasts, as well as the rest of the weather team, visit www.whotv.com/weather. You can also follow Megan on Facebook and Twitter

For more information on the National Weather Services Storm Spotter classes, visit: http://www.crh.noaa.gov/dmx/?n=spotterinfo

 

Meteorologist Megan Salois joined the Channel 13 First Alert Storm Team in April 2006. Megan has been granted her AMS Seal of Approval from the American Meteorological Society and is a member of the National Weather Association. You can see her on Channel 13's popular Today in Iowa Saturday and Sunday programs as well as Channel 13 News at Noon.

Megan grew up outside Atlanta, GA where she gained interest in weather at a young age when her father was struck lightning and survived. She earned her Certificate in Broadcast Meteorology from Mississippi State University in 2005 and her Bachelor s degree in journalism from The University of Georgia. Megan’s favorite type of weather to forecast is severe thunderstorms and tornado outbreaks. Her most memorable moments forecasting tornadoes include the Ladysmith, Wisconsin tornado and the Parkersburg, Iowa tornado.

Category: General SCI