Wild Weather Jobs: Broadcast Meteorologist
An Unexpected Beginning
Carrie Rose was sitting in her office at Oklahoma’s News 9 TV station when she got the call to go on air and report the weather for the first time. She only had a couple of minutes to prepare. Fresh out of college and only recently hired, she had no idea that she would need to take her boss’s place that day. He had an allergy attack just before he was scheduled to go on the air.
Since she was as young as three years old, Rose had an unusual interest in weather, but she never wanted to be on TV. “I swore up and down […] that I would never become a broadcaster,” she explains. She was more interested in the science behind the weather. She was sure she wanted to teach and research meteorology at a university.
A Day in the Life of a Broadcast Meteorologist
That’s why Rose’s current role as one of the most recognizable TV meteorologists in Virginia might be considered unexpected, but it’s a role she cherishes. As a weekday-morning meteorologist at Richmond’s CBS 6 TV station, she is a trusted spokesperson, not only about the weather, but also about science in general.
She is very much a scientist. Waking up at 1:00 a.m. or so every weekday, she gets to work at around 3:30 a.m. to prepare the day’s forecast. She looks at satellite and radar data to make her own weather predictions. After an hour of pouring over data and making graphics, she is ready for her first appearance on the air at 4:30 a.m. She gives weather updates on news shows throughout the morning.
Rose wraps things up on the air by 10:00 a.m., but her day usually does not end there. During the school year, she visits classrooms all over the Richmond area. A program called “Carrie In Your Class” puts her in front of students as young as pre-kindergarteners all the way up to high-school students. It allows her to fulfill another passion of hers—teaching. She teaches students all about the weather on Earth, but she loves to get into other science topics as well—like space weather and climate change.
“It’s an adventure every day, and it’s an exhausting one,” she admits. She has to make sure she gets a good night’s sleep so she can be as focused and alert as possible when at work or in the classroom. That usually means going to bed much earlier than you probably do—around 6:00 or 7:00 each night!
How Did She Get this Job?
Rose carried her passion for science through high school, excelling at math and physics. She needed those skills to move forward in the field of meteorology. She was accepted into one of the toughest meteorology programs in the country, at the University of Oklahoma.
The program was rigorous, with a heavy focus on math. “If you can’t do the math, then you can’t survive the program,” she explains. Her professors noticed that she not only excelled academically, but she was also talented at talking about the science.
While a student, she was encouraged by both mentors and family to give broadcast meteorology a shot. She appeared on her school’s TV station as a meteorologist and scored an internship at a local TV station with one of the most well-known TV meteorologists in the country—the man whose unfortunate allergy attack led to her first on-air experience.
When Rose graduated, she was hired full time at that station. After a successful stint reporting on some of the most intense weather in the country, she decided it was time to return home to the East Coast. She has been reporting on Virginia’s weather since December 2008.
Her favorite part of her job? “To take something that someone has never heard of […] and be able to explain it in a simple but clear and interesting way.” It’s something she does both on the air and in the classroom. “When I see [people] get it,” she says, “it makes my day.”