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Atmosphere Academy: A Degree in Meteorology

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There are dozens of meteorology programs at universities throughout the nation, including Penn State and Florida State just to name a few. But our state is home to one of the most recognized meteorology programs in the entire nation. The Department of Marine Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at North Carolina State University is home to the Raleigh office of the National Weather Service and the state climate office of North Carolina. It also supports the Center for Marine Sciences and Technology in Morehead City.

Upon entering NC State as a freshman, a meteorology student takes a healthy course load of higher-level mathematics that will eventually include differential equations and calculus; three semesters of calculus. Advanced studies in physics and computer programming are also required. Then there are your meteorology classes – thermodynamics, synoptic and microscale modeling labs, all leading up to senior forecasting class.

Who says meteorologists are never held accountable?

Your final grades are based solely on the accuracy of your forecast- so before you walk across that stage, you have to walk in front of that green wall and give an accurate forecast.

Of course, real-life is seldom as simple as it seems in a text book. It takes new meteorologists years to learn all of the eccentricities of local weather patterns, like the coastal sea breeze or the Piedmont Trough. That’s why your education is good, but it’s nothing without experience.

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videoEach day, our meteorologists teach viewers about the changing weather. But have you ever wondered who teaches the meteorologists how to forecast? Jerry Jackson has more in the Atmosphere Academy.

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