Richard Northcroft "Dick" Whitaker (born 15 July 1947) is an Australian meteorologist and author. Whitaker is also the Chief Meteorologist on The Weather Channel, following his esteemed thirty-year career as a meteorologist with the Bureau of Meteorology.
Bureau of Meteorology
Whitaker began working with the Bureau of Meteorology in 1971, aged twenty-four. A decade later, he was promoted to the role of Officer in Charge of the Facilities and Information section of the Bureau. He held this position for three years, before being promoted again to Senior Operational Forecaster in the Sydney bureau, Australia's largest.
In 1984, he was presented with an Australia Day Achievement Award for his work in the field of meteorology. In 1992, Whitaker became the New South Wales Manager for Special Services, dealing with exceptional circumstances and disaster recovery operations. He retired from the Bureau in 2002 after thirty-one years.
Research and developments
Whitaker is partly credited with the initial development of precipitation charts for the Australian mass media. Such charts are now used throughout the print and electronic media to convey data about present and future rainfall in graphical form.
In his second year at the Bureau of Meteorology, 1972, he developed and authored a manual for aviation forecasting in the state of New South Wales, still used today. Whitaker also researched the correlation between sea surface temperatures in the Indian Ocean and rainfall in Australia, which is now used as a routine consideration in the production of seasonal rainfall outlooks.
Publications and media
Whitaker is now the chief meteorologist on The Weather Channel, having joined the station in 2004. On air, his first name is abbreviated to "Dick". He also presents numerous radio weather crosses to a selection of stations around Australia on a daily basis. Whitaker has authored or co-authored several books about weather and historical topics, having a particular interest in Natural Disasters.
List of publications
- Colls, Keith, Whitaker, Richard (2001). The Australian Weather Book. Sydney, Australia: Reed New Holland. p. 216. ISBN 1-876334-68-1.
- Whitaker, Richard (2004). Firewise, Fire-Safe: How to Survive a Bushfire. Sydney, Australia: Reed New Holland. pp. ?. ISBN 1-877069-16-7.
- Whitaker, Richard (2008). Understanding Climate Change. Sydney, Australia: New Holland. p. 240. ISBN 9781877069437.
- Whitaker, Richard (2005). Australia's Natural Disasters. Sydney, Australia: Reed New Holland. p. 239. ISBN 1-877069-04-3.
- Whitaker, Richard (2008). Disasters Events and Moments that Changed the World. Sydney, Australia: Reed New Holland. p. 272. ISBN 1-74110-563-3.
- Whitaker, Richard (2010). The Complete Book of Australian Weather. Sydney, Australia: Allen & Unwin. p. 175. ISBN 1-74175-734-7.
- Alafaci, Annette (21 September 2006). "Whitaker, Richard Northcroft (1947 – )". The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
- Coenraads, Robert (2006). Natural Disasters And How We Cope. Victoria, Australia: The Five Mile Press. pp. 574–5. ISBN 1-74178-212-0.
- Tsun, Angela (n.d.). "Richard Whitaker: 'WeatherSmart'" (PDF). University of New South Wales. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
- "What's in Store for Australia in future? A Matter of Time?" (PDF). Australian Science Media Centre. 16 December 2005. Retrieved 25 November 2007.
- "Richard Whitaker". The Weather Channel. 2007. Retrieved 25 November 2007.