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Weather Forecasting

What's it Like Being a Broadcast Meteorologist?

Photograph of Carrie Rose infront of an ad for CBS 6.

Carrie Rose is a meteorologist for CBS 6 in Richmond, Virginia.

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.

Photo of Carrie Rose holding an Emmy award.

Carrie Rose

“I didn’t have time to get nervous,” she says. It was then that she realized that broadcast meteorology was something she could really do.

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.

Photograph of Carrie Rose in front of students in a classroom.

Sometimes she gets to appear in Superbowl commercials!

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.

Screengrab of Carrie Rose in a superbowl comercial

Carrie Rose teaches students as part of her "Carrie in your Classroom" program.

“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?

Photo of Carrie Rose holding an Emmy award.

Rose and her team have won Emmy awards for their early morning broadcasts.

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.

Photo of Carrie Rose at her desk in the TV studio.

Carrie Rose at her desk inside the CBS 6 newsroom.

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.”