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Meet the future forecasters: Students studying to become meteorologists spend time with the Bureau

Nikolai Beilharz, Monday September 1, 2014 - 15:29 EST
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Budding weather forecasters Jonathan How and Gabrielle Woodhouse interviewed by Victorian Country Hour presenter Nikolai Beilharz - ABC

There are few things farmers enjoy talking about more than weather, even if it's bad news, but it's not just farmers who have a keen eye on the skies.

A group of university students has been spending time at the Bureau of Meteorology head office over the past few weeks learning how to read the weather, with the aim of eventually becoming forecasters themselves.

Senior forecaster at the Bureau, Richard Carlyon, says some things have changed from when he was training, but others haven't.

"The theory hasn't changed, the mathematics of forecasting hasn't changed. But what has changed is the amount of technology over the last 20 years.

"So new recruits now need to be trained in those areas, and that's the biggest change in the job I've seen."

Gabrielle Woodhouse and Jonathan How are two students who are currently studying at the Bureau offices.

"I can honestly say since I was five years old, people would ask me what I wanted to do when I grew up and I would say meteorologist," said Jonathan.

"It's just a very practical science. You look out the window and can see what's going on."

For Gabrielle, a love of storms and the weather systems behind them lured her in.

"I really like thunderstorms and just how those cloud formations are going to grow, and so at the moment we're studying cloud microphysics.

"So I'm really enjoying looking into that and I'm looking forward to being able to apply to a forecasting situation."


© ABC 2014

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