Meteorologist at Fortis Energy Marketing and Trading
I've always been interested in both business and meteorology, even in high school. So when I went to Penn State, I earned both a B.S. degree in meteorology and an associates degree in business administration, finishing in 2001.
From there, I went to the University of Oklahoma and received my M.S. in professional meteorology in 2003, combining my business and meteorological backgrounds. My graduate research was sponsored by Williams, an energy company in Tulsa, OK. That was my first experience working on a trading floor.
After I graduated from OU, I went to work for Weathernews, helping build their Energy group from the ground up. Here I was able to combine my business and meteorology backgrounds by creating new products that best communicated relevent weather information to traders at several trading shops. I was promoted to manager of the group in late 2005. However, then I was contacted by Dave D'Arcangelo, who is also profiled on this page. He offered me an opportunity to work on a trading floor in Houston for Cinergy. I went to work for Cinergy, which then merged with Duke Energy, who sold the trading floor to Fortis, a bank based in Belgium.
Throughout the last 4 years, my job has largely been the same: provide weather forecasts and a description of the risk around them to energy traders. But, I've found that this is quite a bit more complicated than it sounds. In this sector, predicting what private weather providers, like EarthSat and WSI, and computer models are going to say is just as important as actually nailing the forecast. That means you have to communicate your forecast, how it compares to what the whole market is seeing, and how you think both could change.
These tasks require strong communication skills, creativity, and a healthy desire to keep learning more about how weather patterns evolve and what prompts large-scale changes. Oh, and it also helps to be a morning person, as typical start times in the industry are from 4-6 a.m.