Claire Yeo, Bureau of Meteorology Severe Weather Meteorologist

Video - 10 May 2011

I'm Claire Yeo I'm 28 years old and I'm a Meteorologist

I have been interested in the weather since I was 10 years old, I was living in Northern NSW in summertime you can almost be guaranteed there would be thunderstorms up around that part of the world and really really large thunderstorms, so I started my interest for watching the weather, it seems like the most interesting job choice.

You have to do Math's and physics and I think you need to be good at science in the first place to really want to go down this career path. I did applied physics at RMIT University in Melbourne and then I did post graduate studies with Melbourne University in Meteorology, but my degree, my basic degree was a physics math's major and then after Melbourne University I was employed by the Bureau where I undertook a Graduate Diploma in Meteorology so another year, so all up I did 5 years in total of tertiary study.

At the moment I'm working in the Melbourne Head office at the Bureau of Meteorology, as a forecaster the first thing I do is come in and analyse a weather map to get an appreciation of what the current situation is. I guess I do the glamorous part meteorology where I'm studying severe thunderstorms and bad fire weather days. I guess everyone likes to feel their job is important but I personally think severe weather is most important because it's the first thing on the news if something goes wrong or if there is a severe thunderstorm that's gone through a major capital city and people have got hurt or there's been property damage or a fire's gone through its always first on the news.

A lot of my job also involves doing training to the fire agency people and how weather affects their fire operations and in the summer period I'll do fire weather forecasting which basically is forecasts for fire agencies to plan their operations ahead and also severe thunderstorm forecasting.

In terms of severe weather forecasting there's a lot more detail that goes into the forecast itself you have to take into consideration the local affects and the topography in a particular forecast site and you have to be a lot more accurate with the timing of say a wind change.

I think everyone encounters weather every day and most people have a general interest in it, that's why a lot of people pursue the career itself.

I enjoy the responsibility that goes with the job, its nerve racking knowing that if I don't make the right decision with the forecast that it has implications in terms of fire agency personal may be hurt on the line but that in the other sense is also very exciting it means I'm very very focused on what I do and I put a lot of care into my forecast you cant sort of get away with being relaxed I guess in forecasting.

The Bureau has been my first career and I have been with the Bureau for about 7 years now and I don't see myself really going anywhere else at this stage and that's quite typical of many people because most people really really want to be Meteorologist for most of their life as well.

Contact Details
Recruitment Manager
Bureau of Meteorology
GPO Box 1289
Melbourne, Victoria, 3001 Australia
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