His Head Is In The Clouds

Name: Anthony William White
Age: 25
Occupation: Client services manager- meteorologist
Location: Wayne, Pennsylvania
Duties: Interpreting short- and long-range weather patterns and advising businesses.

Anthony William White followed his dreams when he decided to pursue a career in meteorology. Watching our local television weatherman is about as familiar as most of us get with meteorology, but the field encompasses much more than giving us the five-day forecast.

White works at Planalytics Inc. (www.planalytics.com) in Wayne, Pennsylvania, a supply chain planning and optimization technology company that helps businesses in all industries by forecasting weather-driven changes in supply, demand, and prices for products and services. He helps his clients, which include retail manufacturers, energy, and agricultural companies, “avoid squandered opportunities and poor financial results caused by the unanticipated impact of the weather or weather volatility,” says White.

An eighth-grade earth science class first piqued White’s interest in meteorology. Later, he was working toward his bachelor’s of science degree in meteorology at Millersville University in Millersville, Pennsylvania, when Bill Weaving, vice president of weather operations and research at Planalytics, spoke at the school. Even though he was still an undergraduate, White was actively involved in his field as the meteorologist on campus. “I gave Bill my résumé and he called me during finals to let me know he had a position open,” says White, who’s been with the company for about a year and a half.

White starts his day by looking at numerical weather-prediction models from the National Weather Service, Environment Canada, and the United Kingdom’s meteorological service. “I then take the weather information and determine how the forecasted weather will affect my clients’ businesses, be it positive or negative, and brief [them].”

Education: White says that each institution is different, but you can expect to take calculus, calculus-based physics, calculus-based chemistry, ordinary differential equations, partial differential equations, linear algebra, statistics, and, of course, meteorology.

Salary: “It depends on whether you go into government or the private sector,” says White. Entry-level salaries in government can be around $25,000; private sector salaries can start as high as $40,000. A weathered (pun intended) meteorologist can have a salary in the six figures. White advises, “It’s a good idea for a meteorology student to pick up the math minor, which is only about six credits more [than what you'll need to take], and a computer science minor. That way you are well rounded, have more to offer, and your starting salary will be near the higher end.”

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