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The work of an Agricultural Meteorologist ...
13 November 2017

Agricultural Meteorologist, Keith

The rapidly growing population of the planet requires a rapidly growing food supply. While most suitable farm land is already in use, it has become essential to increase yields from existing farms. Weather directly impacts yields.

Keith is a research meteorologist working in the area of Agricultural Meteorology at Met …ireann. This job requires working across all areas of weather and climate to deliver products and services to agricultural related customers. Recent weather observations give a current snapshot of conditions (e.g. national soil moisture deficits), while weather forecasts give an indication of the conditions we can expect (e.g. how likely a forest fire could spread). Past climate gives an indication of how current conditions differ from normal (e.g. itís twice as dry as normal for this time of year) and future climate projections give an indication of what to expect in the longer term (e.g. what pests and diseases will be more prevalent in Ireland in a warmer environment).

The majority of the job of an agrometeorologist within Met …ireann is to maintain, improve and develop new products and services to support four primary strands:
1. Support Met …ireannís forecast office with agrometeorological applications. These applications assist forecasters in producing weather forecasts for the agricultural sector
2. Provision of specialised products to government agricultural advisors to help in decision making (e.g. liver fluke severity risk, foot and mouth dispersion modelling).
3. Provision of products to support farmers directly (e.g. potato blight warnings, weekly accumulations of rainfall and solar radiation).
4. Scientific research, working in collaborations with universities, government agencies and international organisations. This research is often in response to EU Directives related to agriculture.

As agricultural meteorologist with the national meteorological service, Keith also represents Irelandís interests abroad through activities co-ordinated by the World Meteorological Organisation and others. These activities contribute to global developments in meteorological support services for agriculture as well as supporting development of sevices in Ireland.


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