The GOES (GOES-series) is a satellite weather system that is operated jointly by the National Oceanic and atmospheric Administration’s National Weather Service and the Department of Transportation. The GOES-series is jointly managed by two different agencies. The NNSA operates the main weather tracking center of the system, while the DOT manages the rest of the system’s operational functions. Both agencies rely on the information provided by the GOES to provide the public with warnings and storm forecasts. A small portion of the United States private space system operates a grid of weather stations that also contribute to this joint venture.
The GOES-series is actually a geostationary satellite. Geostationary satellites circle the Earth twice a day around the Earth as seen from above. The information they provide is used to map the Earth’s climate and how various weather phenomena such as storms, rainfall, snow fall etc. work around the world. For example, areas prone to rain have smaller snowfalls than areas without any. The GOES determines where this weather condition will occur and through data provided by the satellites, the weather service is able to issue clear and reliable storm warnings.
All go satellites carry instruments to track precipitation, clouds, barometric pressure and wind. By using the data accumulated by the instruments, the geostationary orbit can predict where these conditions are likely to be in the next few hours, or days, or even weeks. The data is then fed into computer models which use mathematical algorithms to determine the probability of what kind of weather we’ll experience during any given time period. These models are then used to provide the public with clear and reliable weather forecasts.
For those who are interested in pursuing a career in weather prediction, getting a degree in meteorology may be an option. Meteorology programs are available at several colleges, universities and technical schools. For those who already have a bachelor’s degree, an advanced degree in meteorology can help you land some interesting positions. There are also internship programs for graduate students in meteorology. Although not a full-fledged career, a bachelor’s degree in meteorology opens up many doors within the space weather community and can lead to other exciting positions such as a mission specialist or technician.
If you’re looking to get into operational GOES monitoring, there are a few things you need to know. Most meteorologists have at least a bachelor’s degree, although those with experience working on the GOES satellite can often go on to get jobs with larger and more prestigious firms. To get a position as a field scientist or research scientist, you need to have a master’s degree or higher. The higher your educational attainment, the more likely it is that you’ll have a high-paying position with a prestigious research institution, such as NASA or the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Research Council.
If you want to become a commercial space weather technician, you will have to go through an oral board screening process. While this process isn’t extensive, it does typically involve interviews and background checks. Once you pass these hurdles, you can get your dream job as a space weather technician and be a part of one of the most exciting and important developments in space history. Earth scientists use weather forecasts to determine which techniques and instruments to use in their work, which is why knowing your GOES details is so important. Learning what makes your forecast unique, as well as knowing which patterns will show up next, will give you the edge you need to be the best of the best.