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Meteorologists often work eight to 12-hour rotating shifts so that they can cover any meteorological event. The quintessential 9 to 5 work schedule is not common for meteorologists unless they are working in an administrative position, or at a facility with limited hours.
Operational meteorologists must be able to record and analyze weather data on very regular intervals. Meteorologists often work during weekends and holidays so they can accurately observe weather patterns.
Rotating shifts may vary depending on the number of employees working at the weather office. Small offices or offices with vacancies require staff members to work more hours or days per week.
The most common schedule for a fully operational weather office with at least four forecasters would be to work 12-hour shifts that rotate between day and night every two weeks. A forecaster's shift could start on Monday and Tuesday, off Wednesday and Thursday, then on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The next week would only include Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a three-day weekend. Monday would begin the night shifts, and the pattern would repeat with a switch between days and nights happening after every three-day weekend.