My ND asked me to fill in doing weather a few weeks ago and I discovered that I not only liked it a lot but it seems really natural to me. I was thinking about taking some weather courses but I'm nowhere near any university that offers them.
Right this minute you should buy the USA Today Weather Book, which is a very easy to understand basic meteorology book with terrific graphics. You can get a copy on Amazon.com. (links below)
For a formal education, consider Mississippi State's Meteorology program, which is offered online. I went through it years ago and found it to be excellent. (Back then they mailed you boxes of VHS tapes)
If you're serious about doing this and your station is serious about keeping you for awhile, you might ask the ND for the company to foot the bill or at least pay for some of the tuition/books.
Do people actually get jobs posting their tapes on places like Medialine?
Yes, in fact one of my clients got a very good job going that route. It's a way for NDs to see who's out there without running an ad and getting deluged with tapes.
I've been watching the "on the move" sections of various websites and I see people getting hired but I have no record of ever seeing an opening... and I spend a ton of time scouring job sites. What's the deal?
Well, some NDs don't post jobs with national job services. It all depends on the company rules.
Yet another reason for you to send tapes to places you want to work, even if you don't see an opening. And there will always be openings.
What's a polite way to ask for a raise?
Well, the fact that you're asking tells me you're polite. You might start things off with, "I know these are tough times for the industry, but I was wondering if you might have a few dollars in the budget for a raise."
Demanding anything, especially in this economy, will get you nowhere. I remember one anchor who had asked the ND for a very large raise and he had turned her down. So she announced to the newsroom that she was going over his head to the GM. The GM's response was classic:
Anchor: "I need to make $50,000 a year."
GM: "Then get a second job."