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Bureau of Meteorology

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Hilary Wilson

5.00 AM

Wake up! It's an early start, but thankfully I don't have to do it every day! As a shift worker, my hours (& duties) vary depending on the day. 

5.45 AM

Jump on the bike. Living in a smaller city like Adelaide has its advantages – I only have about a 5 minutes cycle to get to work.

Hilary on the bike

6.00 AM

Arrive at work and log-in to my workstation: Today I'm responsible for communicating weather information through various channels, particularly via radio, social media, and speaking to journalists. I'll also support our severe weather operations. At this time of year (late summer), our main focus is on dangerous bushfire weather, however thankfully today there isn’t too much going on today.

Hilary Today's weather

6.50 AM

First radio cross. I have a quick chat to ABC Radio Adelaide about the weather over this coming week. How long a radio cross goes for depends on what's happening - sometimes the weather generates a lot more interest than at other times.

Hilary doing her first radio cross for the day

7.30 AM

More interviews for radio stations around South Australia. A much-needed coffee (or two) is almost certainly consumed during this time! When on the radio I consider who the audience is likely to be (i.e. rural vs. metropolitan), and what they might be most interested in. For example, there might be festivals or events on for the upcoming weekend, or it might be harvest time in certain agricultural regions.

9.45 AM

Draw a weather chart. This may seem pretty old-school, but it's a good way of building up a picture of what's happening with the weather right now, and avoiding getting your head too stuck in a computer. I'll probably do another one or two of these over the course of the day. 

Hilary drawing a weather chart

10.00 AM

Chart discussion. This is a short briefing for everyone in the office that usually takes place a couple of times per week. I brief the office on what has occurred over the last 24-48 hours, then the senior meteorologist and severe weather meteorologist will talk about what's expected in the next few days, with a focus on any potentially hazardous weather.

Hilary's chart discussion

10.15 AM

Get on twitter! I send out a tweet using the @BOM_SA twitter account about a cold front that crossed the State late yesterday, and the associated rainfall amounts recorded. We might see Adelaide's coldest day of the year today, but I'll wait a bit longer before tweeting that as it's a close call! 

10.30 AM

Although I'm still responding to a few media queries here and there, it's time to start shifting focus towards severe weather support. I start by undertaking what we call a "convective assessment" – essentially that means figuring out where thunderstorms could occur today, and if they do, whether they're likely to be severe.

12.00 PM

Lunch! There are some beautiful parklands right next to our office, so I pop down there to eat lunch and enjoy the flowers.

Hilary during lunch break at the parklands

12.30 PM

After a busy morning, there isn’t too much going on this afternoon as there's no severe weather occurring, or expected to occur in the short term. This means I have some time to work on a few other projects. At the moment, I'm teaching myself to code in Python so that I can contribute to some exciting research opportunities. On a busier day, I might do some interviews for local TV and newspapers, and assist with preparing and issuing weather warnings. 

4.00 PM

Daily Weather Review. This is a brief summary of today's weather in South Australia that is published on the BoM website. Today I write about the shower activity and associated rainfall recorded early this morning, and the cooler than average (for this time of year) conditions that were observed.

4.15 PM

Another tweet. As it turned out, today was Adelaide's coldest of the year so far!

Hilary's tweet about Adelaide's weather update

4.30 PM

Time to head off. I cycle around the corner to my yoga studio, where I can stretch out and relax after quite a lot of desk-time today. Tomorrow (Thursday) is the first day of my 'weekend', so tonight I can chill out and enjoy the prospect of a sleep-in!