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Leo

I'm considering studying Meteorology

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Hello! I'm a weather enthusiast who has always been fascinated with weather-in particular severe weather events and the immense power it can display. I recently turned 22 and have decided to put college on hold until the current pandemic subsides. Part of this is my lack of attention in online classes but the other half is to do some soul searching on what, if any, degree I would want to pursue. Ever since high school my parents commented how odd it was that I didn't want to be a meteorologist given how geeky I am with the weather. Truth is I was quite interested but there was a problem: Calculus. When I was doing my research on what courses I would need to take, the thought of calc III was too much for me. To say I had a rough time in pre-calc would be a grave understatement. It was the very class that made me realize that an engineering career wasn't for me. Granted, the teacher was terrible (the denied her tenure if that explains anything) and my AP Calc class the next year went a lot smoother. However, I was never great at actual calculus either. Now, I'll make clear that I actually LOVE math. Algebra and geometry are among my favorite subjects in academia. Pre-calc was the first time where I was in the middle of the class in terms of understanding. For the first time, I felt insecure in my abilities and I decided that anything remotely math based was not on my agenda.

This was 6 years ago and I want to believe I'm more open to learning Calc again but I guess my real question is, what else should I expect assuming I'm able to at least have a basic comprehension of the calculus classes? Are the calculus equations the most difficult part of MET courses or are there other stuff that could pose an even greater challenge for a student? Are the physics courses just as difficult? For a long term goal, I'd be more interested in Broadcast Meteorology, does a bachelor's degree suffice or is grad school pretty much expected for the career? I mostly just want to know what I would expect in a college curriculum and if my struggles with Pre-calc are a sign that I may be a bit over my head. 

Thank you for readning. 

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MET courses are basically applied mathematics/physics courses. If you cannot understand mathematical and or physics concepts, you'll likely struggle in all MET related courses. Even though you didn't ask, I'd recommend taking calculus (and or differential equations) at a community college before committing to a MET program (if you're not feeling confident). This will help you gauge the waters of the curriculum. In my opinion, most people can succeed in all MET, mathematics, and physics courses as long as they work hard and do not quit.

Q. "What else should I expect assuming I'm able to at least have a basic comprehension of the calculus classes?"

A. Expect mathematical terminology within most MET equations. For example (QG theory), know what a partial derivative/del operator is and how to apply these terms within a finite area/volume < https://www.meted.ucar.edu/labs/synoptic/qgoe_sample/index.htm#:~:text=The Quasi-geostrophic (QG),analyses at different pressure levels >

"Are the calculus equations the most difficult part of MET courses or are there other stuff that could pose an even greater challenge for a student?"

A. No... Differential equations is the most "difficult" part of MET courses. They don't get too complicated though so I wouldn't worry about it. Just focus on the mathematics curriculum.

Q. "Are the physics courses just as difficult?"

A. Absolutely not. Not for me anyway... Again, just focus on the mathematics curriculum.

Q. "For a long term goal, I'd be more interested in Broadcast Meteorology, does a bachelor's degree suffice or is grad school pretty much expected for the career?"

I know a lot of colleagues who are broadcasting (as meteorologists) at the moment. Three of which declared ATM as a minor... They're all doing well. You can always get a bachelor's degree in television studies (broadcast concentration) and get a minor in ATM.

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