Samantha Walters

Monday 5th July 2010

I arrived about half an hour early at the Society as I came in the car with my aunty. I was given a tour of the Society by Liz and introduced to everyone. I received a very warm welcome from everyone. I was surprised by the building where the Society is located as it was not at all like I had thought it would be. The building is very grand and is decorated with weather charts of famous days such as the storm in 1987 and the D-Day landings. At this point Emma, who was also on work experience at the Society, arrived. Liz showed Emma around and also showed us the fire exits.

samantha walters

Liz then took us to the newly refurbished conference room and told us more about what kind of jobs we would be doing. After this armed with cups of tea, we were shown how the weather is predicted and why weather forecasts sometimes differ. This was extremely interesting as Liz explained the different types of charts that show the weather and how they are used to predict the weather. We looked at warm and cold fronts and the different types of weather they bring. We also looked at satellite maps and how the different types of clouds showed up. We were having a spell of warm and sunny weather. Liz explained to us that this was caused by an area of high pressure that sat off the coast.

We were then given a laptop and asked to think of and research some ‘ask the expert’ questions that could be put on the new Weather Club website. I worked together with Emma to do this which meant we collected lots of interesting information on subjects linked to weather and the environment. By this point it was lunchtime so we walked into Reading with Liz. As it was a beautiful day we sat by the canal to eat lunch. Reading town centre has recently been refurbished so we had a lovely lunchtime walking around the shops.

In the afternoon we did some administration work with Sue. In July and August 2010 there were a number of conferences so we prepared some timetables and badges for these. I became good friends with the guillotine. I thoroughly enjoyed my first day and looked forward to my second day.

Tuesday 7th July 2010

Today Emma, Liz and I went into London for a meeting with EdenCanCan , the PR company who were helping organise the launch of the new Weather Club. I arrived with Liz on the train from Reading and we met Emma at Oxford Circus. From there we walked down Oxford Street to the building where the PR company is located. We all had to get name tags at reception with our picture on. It felt a bit like we were going in to somewhere like MI6. The people working at EdenCanCan were very friendly and bubbly. They had helped publicise a number of companies and events. They had even made a dress with celebrity quotes on it that was made for MTV. We were shown in the conference room where the meeting would be held. For the next couple of hours Liz, a man called Nick, from a publishing company, three people from the PR company, Emma and I sat and discussed all the details that needed to be covered for the launch of the Weather Club. I was surprised at how much had to be done. We discussed how the club is going to be promoted and many different ideas were thrown around about the best way to do this. We also had a look at the prototype for the first issue of the Weather Club magazine which looked very interesting!

After the meeting we quickly grabbed some lunch and got the tube and train back to Reading. The meeting had lasted longer than expected so we did get back to the Society until about 2:30. In the afternoon we finished of researching questions for ‘Ask the Expert’. When I looked at the clock I was surprised to see it said it was 4:00 as time seemed to have flown by. I walked with Emma back to the train station and excitedly looked forward to Wednesday.

Wednesday 7th July 2010

Today I arrived by train and walked the short distance to the RMetS. I had a lovely cup of tea in one of the wonderful weather mugs while I checked the weather forecast.

I then walked to the bus stop with Emma and Rachael to catch a bus to Reading University. We arrived at the campus and where given a short tour by Rachael. We were shown the amazing weather recording equipment outside, the lake and the Student Union. After the tour we headed over to the Meteorology department where we met Ross who works at the University. He gave me lots of information on the Undergraduate course offered in Meteorology at Reading. Emma was given information on the Masters course offered there too. Ross then showed us around the department including the library and the labs. We were also given information on the social events that take place at the University. Once the tour was over we rejoined Rachael and headed back to the bus stop. Ross was very enthusiastic about his job so Emma was fully convinced about doing her Masters at Reading and I am now seriously considering doing a degree in Meteorology at Reading University.

I bought lunch in Reading town centre and eat back at the Society. In the afternoon we spent half an hour with George who is in charge of publishing. She oversees a number of the journals that the RMetS publishes and is also involved in distributing some of the products the Society sells. We had a look through some of the journals and how they are published. We also looked through some issues of Weather which is given to members of the RMetS and looks very interesting. We then joined Althea for a while who is in charge of membership. We were given some information about how the membership is organised and what you are entitled to as a member. We were also shown the membership forms from back in the 1850s. They were in an extremely good state considering how old they are and were very interesting to look at. I found today very interesting as I received my first tour of a University!

Thursday 8th July 2010

Today I cycled to the Society as it was predicted to be nice weather. When I arrived at the RMetS, Emma and I were asked to write an article that could be put on MetLink, on the internet. We decided to write the article on St. Swithin’s Day as it was coming up in a week’s time.

Emma had brought in her laptop so we decided to split the research so I would research the history of St. Swithin’s Day while Emma would research the tests carried out by the Met Office. These were carried out to see if the myth that the weather on St. Swithin’s Day would be repeated for the next 40 days. The results of the tests the Met Office had carried out were hard to find although Emma did eventually the information we needed. Emma put the information into a graph while I wrote some background information on St. Swithin’s Day. We then combined our work to produce an article. This was then checked by Rachael and corrected.

Once we had completed the article we did the forecast for the day with Liz. We looked at what kind of weather we could be expecting in the coming days as well as why tornadoes form in ‘Tornado Alley’ in the USA. We then went into Reading to buy lunch and eat it by the canal again, as the Sun had come out by this point and it was very warm.

After lunch we resumed researching the topics for ‘Ask the Experts’ again. I researched the warmest, wettest, coldest and sunniest regions in the UK and looked at why these regions had the most extreme conditions in the UK which proved to be very interesting.

Friday 9th July 2010

I cycled to the RMetS again today as there were clear blue skies in the morning. Emma and I did our last forecast together as it was my last day at the RMetS. We looked at long term forecasts with Liz and how hard these are to predict as there are hundreds of different possibilities. We also predict the weather for Rachael and Sue S. Rachael wanted to know the weather in Norwich for Saturday and Sue S wanted to know the weather for Mendips over the coming weekend and for the Lake District the week after. We predicted it to be extremely hot in Norwich on the Saturday as the maximum temperature was predicted to be 31˚C! The weather for Sue was more mixed as Mendips happened to be on the border between two fronts. The prediction for the Lake District was not as accurate as it was further ahead but again the weather was forecast to be warm and windy with a mix of sunshine and rain.

After the forecasts Emma and I finished writing the ‘Ask the Expert’ questions and sent them to Rachael.