Meteorologists: Expand into Computer Science

This post is mostly inspired by this post on The Front Page: An American Meteorological Society Blog.

To be a proper meteorologist today, you need to learn some computer science if you want to expand your options and become more competitive in the industry.Computer

There is much more of a demand today for meteorologists who get into the industry to have some kind of programming background (whether it would be Python, C++, PHP among others) in order to get an edge.

The heart of why is the fact that meteorology deals with large and multi-dimensional data sets, as well as working with complex computer models. There is a huge demand from both private and public industries to have these skills as well as an understanding of meteorology.

You can argue that it is not completely necessary if you intend to become an operational forecaster, where the relevant models are run in the background and information from different sources (automatic weather stations and radar as examples) is already there for interpretation by a qualified meteorologist, but those opportunities areĀ  limited.

If you want to compete in today’s meteorological world, an understanding of computers and computer science is essential. What do you think? :)


  1. I think I agree with what you’re trying to say, but it’s not so much Computer Science that the meteorologists need to get into, as computer programming. CS deals with a lot of abstractions and theory which is *really* interesting to use CS types, but I’ve very rarely used that stuff since I started working with weather data.

    Learn programming, read an algorithmics book and get to work.

    • Logi, you are right in that it is not Computer Science as a whole that needs to be learnt, but programming is becoming an absolute must. Most of the theory from Computer Science isn’t really necessary, but certainly algorithms, data structures and data mining are topics that come in handy depending on the meteorological models and datasets used.

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