What’s Weather Got to Do with It? – Agricultural Meteorology

Saturday, March 11, 2017
Chantel Simpson, STEMconnector

Recent years have brought about talk of climate change and uncertainty about the changing weather patterns occurring throughout the region and world. For many years, agriculturalists have planted and harvested at around the same times each year, however global temperature fluctuations have all but rendered this once common practice, useless. Today’s farmers now have the benefit of access to weather forecasts and predictions in addition to the use of their common planting and harvesting traditions.

Meteorologists are able to forecast weather patterns and anomalies to better inform farmers and other plant aficionados to protect plants in the event of an unexpected cold snap or heat wave. Meteorologists that work specifically to assist with services related to agriculture are known as Agricultural Meteorologists or Agro-meteorologists.

 

Agro-meteorologists use a number of STEM related tools including maps, satellites, computers monitors. These tools allow them to determine the specific characteristics of a weather pattern, including temperature, humidity and even duration.

Those interested in agro-meteorology careers attend 4-year degree granting institutions like Tuskegee and UC Davis. During their matriculation at these colleges, students take a number of courses in meteorological sciences as well as courses specifically related to climate change, horticulture and entomology.

 

Organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the World Meteorological Organization are at the forefront of cutting edge technology to monitor extreme weather patterns that are impacting agriculture throughout the nation and world.  

 

So if you’ve been thinking about a career in meteorological sciences, consider specializing in agricultural meteorology, where you will not only follow your passion, but also contribute to a growing number of STEM professionals that are making a difference in the world of agriculture as we seek to feed a growing population, because weather has “a lot to do with it!”  

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