Jobs on Sunday: Come Rain or Shine; GETTING INTO.... METEOROLOGY NAME: TERRY COX AGE: 27

Article excerpt

PERSONAL: Terry grew up in the county of Cambridgeshire, and after gaining A Levels in maths, physics and computer science, went on to do a computer science degree. After graduating, he spent a year travelling in the US where he encountered some of the extreme weather conditions there.

'I sawa tornado in the MidWestand witnessed something of the force that causes such incredible damage,' says Terry. 'From that moment on, I was hooked.'

When he returned, Terry did several odd jobs before landing a post with a firm in the oil industry.

JOB DESCRIPTION: Meteorologists continu-ously collect and interpret information from a wide variety of sources to draw up forecasts.

Data comes from weather stations on-site and nearby satellites, observation vessels, and civil and military aircraft.

All this information has to be co-ordinated and processed by computers which produce charts and models.Generaland specific forecasts, as well as weather maps, are prepared from this information.

The team works in shifts around the clock, and much of the work is out of doors, and the remainder involves sitting indoors, analysing data.

Meteorologists are also involved in research into understanding and predicting climate change and improving methods of weather prediction.

SKILLS & PERSONALITY: A scientificapproach - methodical and practical - is what's required for collecting information, analysing data and solving problems, and meteorologists need to be meticulously accurate, as well as patient and observant.

Numeracy and computer skills are a basic requirement, and candidates should be able to work effectively as part of a team.

An innovative and adaptable approach is required, as new technology is being brought in all the time, as well as the flexibility needed to constantly acquire new skills.

TRAINING & ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A degree is required to work just about anywhere in meteorology, and this should ideally be in a subject like maths, physics, computer science or meteorology.

Other subjects, like astrophysics, electronics and physical chemistry are acceptable, while environmental science or physical geography may be accepted if the applicant has good A Levels in maths and physics. …