Weather

Making a Career Out of It

  • Dear Dr. Mel Goldstein,
  • Hi. I'm in Frisbie School with Mrs. Demers for a fifth-grade teacher in Wolcott, Connecticut. We are learning about weather and I wanted to ask you some questions about your job and different kinds of weather. To start, how do you make predictions? I'm just wondering, but do you use que cards? Now, what are main types of weather? Okay, now what about college did you to, to learn about weather? Can I have a list of about 2 or 3 good weather books?
  • Still, there? Okay, how big can the biggest piece of hail be? Somebody said they saw some hail bigger than softballs. Why does lightning light up the whole sky and not just part? Well, there is all my questions. I know that there are more in the world, but this is what I could think of. Thank you for your time please write back.
  • Sincerely,
    Kristen Holmes

This unedited letter was one of a packet that arrived from Mrs. Demers's class while I was putting this together and shows the fascination that people of all ages have with the weather. Similar mail and telephone calls arrive daily. An estimated 90 percent of the public consults weather forecasts once or twice each day, and they do so for a variety of reasons. I'm not sure if Kristen, or any of her classmates, will pursue a career in meteorology, but just in case, I do have some tips and advice.

book cover

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Weather © 2002 by Mel Goldstein, Ph.D.. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.