A day in the life of a meteorologist

Ever wondered what it’s like to be a TV meteorologist? Well, it’s different everywhere and really for everyone. The schedules are different, the tasks, the requirements… It varies a LOT, but I’ll give you an idea of what my days are like.

I go to bed around 5 p.m. yes, really. No, I don’t take sleeping pills or anything like that I just MAKE myself get in bed. Sleep is important and I make it a priority to get at least 7.5 hours of sleep. Usually I’m right at 8 hours, I’ve got it down to a routine nowadays.  But, regardless of the amount of sleep I get the schedule still makes me feel weird.

I wake up between 1-2 a.m. depending on: the day of the week, whether I can recycle my hair (I’ll explain later), what kind of weather is going on.

Yeah, it’s weird… But, I’ve actually learned there are a lot of people awake at these weird hours, nurses, other meteorologists and TV people, policeman, fireman, etc. I certainly know I’m not the only one waking up and working weird hours.

So I wake up, check my email to make sure nothing happened overnight that requires me to rush to work… then while half asleep I straighten my hair because half straight, half curly/frizzy hair isn’t a good look for TV. I use all sorts of products to try to protect my hair from the constant heat, but the best thing I’ve found is recycling my hair.  At first, I felt super weird about it… Could I really go on TV without clean hair? Well, I gave it a try and ended up getting more compliments on the day old hair.  Anyways, when it’s 2 a.m. you look for ways to sleep in any extra amount of time, so I wash my hair every OTHER day.

Fix the hair, eat breakfast… yes, I eat breakfast- it’s the most important meal of the day. I (actually my husband) fixes it the night before and I either blend it or heat it up in the AM. I pack up my lunch, hot tea, water, and gym bag and head to work.

Once I’m at work, I turn Pandora on and work for the next couple of hour forecasting, making graphics, recording radio hits and video forecasts for our app and web. Yeah- that’s all before the show starts. I also recently decided to leave my make up at work, I don’t use the stuff on my days off, so I do my make up a little before showtime. No, nobody does it for me.

Some of the questions I get the most are: Does someone do your hair/makeup? No. Does someone pick out/ buy what you wear? No. Does someone forecast/ make graphics for you? No.  On the weekends, I’m the only one in the weather center… So if it has to do with weather on TV, online, or on your app it was me.

So the show begins and I have hits every 5-10 minutes, each of them are a different length and need to be unique so that someone at home doesn’t feel like they just saw that forecast. I plan out at least an hour of weather hits before the show ever begins, but after the first hour of our show is over I have to start switching things up to make them fresh again. This is when focus really comes into play. Our newscast is going on, but I don’t have a hit for four more minutes so I have to get work done. Anyone who knows me very well knows that I’m 30 minutes early to everything. TV timing has really been something I have had to get  used to.

While the show is going on, aside from changing up my graphics, I’m updating social media. Depending on whether the weather is quiet or not I’ll post on social media every 15 minutes to every half hour or if it’s really quite then once an hour. I’m also blogging or brainstorming for a blog idea. We blog on our weather blog every day we work so I run out of ideas pretty quickly when the weather is quiet.

As soon as the show is over we go into cut-ins during Good Morning America. So I have about a 18 minute break that I record and post the instacast on social media, eat my lunch, prepare graphics for cut-ins and put in the closed captioning text before my first cut-in.

On the weekends, after an hour of GMA we go back into newscast for another hour. So, I produce another hour worth of new graphics etc for the 8AM hour, hopefully finish my blog, record and then post another web/app update.

Okay, now it’s 9AM!

The lights in the studio go off, the energy levels start to crash and the craving for a nap begins.

The next couple of hours for me are spent on social media, looking for cool weather stories for social media content, for blogs, or for a weather story for when I report on the weekdays.

Then, since staying fit is part of our job… And the more you workout typically the fewer mean emails you’ll get- I head to the gym right after work. Sometimes I just go upstairs at the station and spend my time on the treadmill, on other days I’ll go to the gym. But either way, if I don’t workout before going home it won’t happen.

After workout, it’s time for dinner and prepping for the next morning. Making the next day’s breakfast, lunch, packing a new gym bag, picking out my work clothes & making sure it has been an acceptable amount of time since I wore it last, checking my email again, and making sure I’m updated on what the weather will be like the next morning.

Then all the sudden it’s bedtime again, and yes that usually comes before my husband makes it home from work. We see each other in passing on my work days & since my work days include the weekend, we just squeeze in together time wherever it fits.

Sounds like fun, right? These are the easy days. I’ll do another one of these posts once we get into severe weather season. My days are significantly longer, with less sleep, more work, and less time for anything other than storms.

4 thoughts on “A day in the life of a meteorologist

  1. Reading about your day completely wore me out and I’m not sure I found anything fun in your day! 🙂
    However, I do think I’ve read enough of your posts of FB and your initial blog to know that you love your job and life. I’m glad!

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  2. Love that you call it “recycling” your hair! I just started doing it too! I’m still kind of unsure about it, and use about 1/2 a bottle of dry shampoo but it saves so much time.

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  3. Wow, what a day! Thank you for all you do to keep us updated on the weather, im just curious to what you mean when you say “the fewer mean emails youll get”, in regards to staying fit?

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