I work for Fugro GEOS Limited as a part of the weather forecasting division, which has several offices situated around the world. I work within a 24/7 weather forecasting team based in the Wallingford Office, UK. Although I specialise in writing marine forecasts to aid the offshore industry, I also write land forecasts for the construction industry and create media forecasts for major film productions. Occasionally I also work offshore to provide a more detailed on-site marine forecast service for clients. This has added up to a several months total work offshore in the North and Norwegian Seas over the past few years.
I started working for Fugro GEOS in 2007 on completion of my BSc in Meteorology. I had previously worked at Fugro GEOS as a work experience student and knew I wanted to return to the company on completion of my studies if possible. I trained with Fugro to specialise in Marine Forecasting and have been working as an operational shift forecaster since 2008. I successfully undertook my first offshore job in early 2011 and have continued to gain experience as an offshore forecaster since then, helping to facilitate several heavy lift operations in the North and Norwegian Seas. After several years of hard work I was promoted to Senior Forecaster this year. The nature of my job means that I am constantly learning about the weather as well as forecasting it accurately. As I gain more experience, I enjoy helping some of the junior members of our team progress by passing on the knowledge I have learned.
Although the weather is often uncertain by nature, it is very satisfying to know that my forecasts have helped to plan and complete a large offshore installation on time and safely.
My role as a forecaster is to help our clients plan their work around the weather by providing them with the most accurate forecast possible. Because of the variety of clients, the type of weather that is critical to their operations is also wide ranging – this means that no two days in the office are ever the same! One of the most important aspects of my job is to build good relationships with our clients and to help understand their specific needs so we can provide the best possible service. This is especially important when working as an on-site forecaster, where I am the single point of contact for weather information.
Marine Weather Forecasters are responsible for the provision of forecasts, predominantly for the offshore marine industry although some onshore forecasting is undertaken. Regional knowledge of European, Caspian, Middle Eastern, the Americas or Far Eastern weather systems is preferred. Forecasters may be required to spend time offshore or overseas in client offices for up to 4 weeks at a time, to a maximum of 3 months per annum.
Office-based forecasters operate a roster system with shifts of up to 12 hours. Overseas secondments are offered through the company’s regional forecasting offices in UK, Singapore and the UAE.