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WeatherBrains 532: Saw Them Guns

WeatherBrains Episode 532 is now online (March 28, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Jon PorterTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is the Vice President of Innovations Development for AccuWeather. He is responsible for the teams that collect weather data from all over the world. Jon Porter, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Jonathan joined the AccuWeather team in June, 2004, just a few weeks after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in meteorology and minor in Information Technology. Jon does double duty at AccuWeather — he spends much of his time working as a meteorological programmer within the IT department tasked to projects ranging from improvements in the AccuWeather digital forecast database to building specialized applications for a wide variety of clients. In addition, he is a broadcast meteorologist, appearing on wireless videos, the Local AccuWeather Channel and WPSU–TV.

A New England native, Jon grew up in the small town of Killingly, CT – in Northeastern Connecticut’s Windham County. He has always been interested in the weather and decided that he wanted to be a meteorologist in the fourth grade. Some family members contend it is in his genes as Jon’s father holds a degree in meteorology. Growing up, Jon was always fascinated with East Coast snowstorms particularly the Blizzard of 1993 and the April Fool’s Day Nor’easter of 1997.

After graduating from Marianapolis Preparatory School in Thompson, CT, Jon followed his dream and arrived at Penn State University. While at Penn State, Jon was fortunate to have the opportunity to get his start in television on Penn State’s nightly weather program, Weather World. He appeared on air during major winter storms, severe weather outbreaks and in the days leading up to Hurricane Isabel’s effects on Pennsylvania in 2003.
Jon is a member of the American Meteorological Society and serves on an alumni committee for the Department of Meteorology at Penn State.

In his free time, Jon likes to spend time with friends and family. He also volunteers his IT skills at a clinic that provides free healthcare to the working poor. He likes to listen to 80’s music – especially Chicago and Earth Wind & Fire. Jon also enjoys TV dramas, especially NYPD Blue and Law & Order.

Ryan VaughnTonight’s Guest Panelist is the Chief Meteorologist at KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, AR. He is Western Kenticky Hilltopper. (Thanks for beating UAB and letting Middle Tennessee win the Conference USA Basketball Tournament so they could beat Michigan State and break Bill Murray’s bracket!) Welcome to the show Ryan Vaughan!

Jon’s career included a short period with a television in the Montgomery, AL, area, but moved back to the Jonesboro, AR, area due in part to it being a great place to raise a family.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 91 at Miami, FL, and 10 at Alamosa, CO
  • Don’t forget to vote for Ginger Zee in Dancing with the Stars
  • Some severe weather Wednesday/Thursday
  • Heavy rain possible across Southeast US, too
  • Ash advisory for parts of Alaska
  • Snowy weather in the western states
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer brings to life messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: There are many processes going on in the atmosphere, and one of those is referred to as the hydrologic cycle. Often called the water cycle, too, it identifies the various processes going on in the atmosphere as water comes and goes.

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 532:

KAIT-TV Weather page

GOES satellite communications at risk

NWA/AMS joint letter on this topic

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Brian Peters – Gets the fog horn!

John Scala – Relationship of extreme weather and climate change

Kevin Selle – Scott Kelly’s pictures from space

James Spann – Fight over empty seat at graduation

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Cat digs igloo!

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Dr. John Scala, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

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WeatherBrains 531: His Head Symmetrical Without Potholes

WeatherBrains Episode 531 is now online (March 21, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Dr. Jordan GerthTonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is a Research Meteorologist at the University of Wisconsin Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. He is a lifelong Wisconsin Badger. We’re happy to welcome Dr. Jordan Gerth to WeatherBrains.

Dr. Jordan Gerth is an assistant researcher at the University of Wisconsin in Madison affiliated with the Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies. His primary area of expertise is satellite meteorology. His dissertation work involved producing a blended sky cover analysis and short-term sky cover forecasts. He currently works to transition new and experimental satellite products directly to operational meteorologists in the field as part of the GOES-R and JPSS Proving Grounds, a readiness activity to prepare forecasters for the next-generation weather satellites. His other research includes studying the impact of retrieved atmospheric parameters from satellite observations in numerical weather prediction model solutions. Jordan also pursues interests infusing new technology into the weather forecasting process and has served on professional committees for both the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association.

Tonight’s Special Guest is a senior at Mississippi State University, studying meteorology. She is the President of the East Mississippi Joint Chapter of the AMS/NWA. She is in charge of the upcoming Severe Weather Symposium (link below). Welcome to WeatherBrains, Meagan Massey.

Meagan MasseyMeagan Massey is from the Dallas–Fort Worth area of Texas and joined the Campus Connect Forecasting Team in August, 2015. At a young age, two tornado outbreaks in DFW piqued Meagan’s interest for weather. During the stormiest/wettest year on record in 2015 for Dallas, Meagan interned with the WFAA–TV Weather Team while assisting on severe weather coverage as well as giving reports live on-air to Chief Meteorologist Pete Delkus. She even had her first flight experience during a feature story with Meteorologist Colleen Coyle. Her forecast skills were also put to the test while interning at KAIT–TV in Jonesboro, AR, with Chief Meteorologist Ryan Vaughan. Every week Meagan adds comedy and creativity into forecast blogs for NashSevereWX.com. Meagan is a 2015 Harold Taft Scholar.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 96 at Death Valley, CA, and 4 at Herman, MI
  • Cast your vote for Ginger Zee at http://vote-e.abc.go.com/shows/dancing-with-the-stars/vote/season-22
  • (voting until 8 pm EDT Tuesday, March 22)
  • Windy in Kevin’s area especially tomorrow
  • Cold in the Southeast US and much of the East
  • Relatively benign weather across much of US
  • Severe weather possible Thursday, March 24th
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer squeezes in the latest emails from our listeners before doing the evening weather!

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: When you get weather information off a METAR, the visibility is followed by what if anything is reducing the visibility. Other than precipitation, there are a number of items that can be responsible for the reduced visibility. One of those is volcanic ash, but there are several others. In this edition of the 101 segment, we take a look at what those are and how they get reported.

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 531:

Mississippi State Severe Weather Symposium

Summary of work of Dr. Jordan Gerth

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Jordan Gerth – CIMSS Satellite Blog of eclipse

Nate Johnson – Team Zappa

Meagan Massey – MS State Severe Weather Symposium

Bill Murray – NOAA Geostationary Satellite Server

Brian Peters – New capital of lightning

John Scala – Lightning kills festival goer in New Orleans area

Kevin Selle – Tornado Pod Story – Part 1
Tornado Pod Story – Part 2

Rick Smith – NWS lightning statistics

James Spann – Radarscope 3.0 released on March 22, 2016

Aubrey Urbanowicz – 2016 Bloom Watch

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Dr. John Scala, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

Audible.com graphic

WeatherBrains 530: Engineer Roy Makes an Appearance

WeatherBrains Episode 530 is now online (March 14, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Diane McAlileyAs a special treat to this show, we begin with Mrs. Diane McAliley, 6th Grade Science Teacher, Pizitz Middle School, Vestavia, AL. She and her 6th grade class just completed a successful balloon launch with the help of Bill Murray, and she’ll recap the whole project. The balloon went to an altitude of 106,000 feet and their chase team was able to recover the whole assembly including spectacular 6-second data an two GoPro cameras complete with stunning video.

Dr. Joseph P. (Joe) Bassi is an Assistant Professor of Arts and Sciences at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University/Worldwide Campus. He is also an (online) adjunct lecturer at the National Security Studies Institute, University of Texas/El Paso. Dr. Bassi completed his PhD in History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, in June, 2009. He specialized in the history of modern US science and technology. He was a senior project engineer with the Aerospace Corporation supporting national security space efforts at Vandenberg AFB from 2009-2010. During his PhD program, Dr Bassi was a Guggenheim pre-doctoral fellow in Space History at the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution. His recent book, “A Scientific Peak: How Boulder Became a World Center for Space and Atmospheric Science,” recently was selected as one of the best books in atmospheric sciences for 2015 in the history category by Atmospheric Sciences Librarians International.

Dr. Joseph BassiA retired US Air Force officer with twenty-six years of active duty, he at various points in his military career served as Director of the Joint Typhoon Warning Center (Guam), Professor of Strategic Studies at a DOD college, Headquarters US Air Force Action Officer and Program Element Manager, Chief of the Acquisition Meteorology Office at Air Force Space Systems Division, and Assistant Professor of Physics at the USAF Academy. After retirement from active service, Professor Bassi served as a space policy analyst in the Office of the Secretary of Defense while working for the Aerospace Corporation.

In addition to the PhD, he has graduate degrees in Meteorology from Penn State, Astrophysics from the University of Colorado, and History from the George Washington University. While at GWU, he was a NASA Space Grant Research Fellow at the Space Policy Institute, Elliot School of International Affairs. He graduated from Manhattan College in 1974 with a BS in Physics (Phi Beta Kappa) and was a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 98 at Cotulla, TX, and 11 at Caribou, ME, and Presque Isle, ME
  • Risk of severe weather in Carolinas
  • Risk of severe weather in Indiana, Illinois Day 2
  • Tremendous flooding in AR, LA, and East TX
  • Warmth is the word for much of the eastern US
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Tornadoes are ranked on a scale from 0 to 5 and hurricanes are ranked, too. But did you know that the National Climatic Data Center ranks winter storms? That’s right, they do, so in this episode the professor delves into how winter storms are ranked.

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 530:

Video and story on the Pizitz Middle School balloon launch

Dr. Bassi’s book, A Scientific Peak

Book on Halsey’s Typhoon

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Bill Murray – Pizitz Middle School balloon launch

Brian Peters – Oklahoma City modifies tornado warning system

Kevin Selle – We Love Weather Community

James Spann – SSEC Geostationary Satellite Imagery

Aubrey Urbanowicz – 100+ female meteorologists wearing THE DRESS

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Dr. John Scala, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

Audible.com graphic


WeatherBrains is a proud affiliate of NetAtmo Weather Stations.

Easy to install and affordable. Get your’s today!

You can monitor your data on iOS 4 or higher, Android 4.0 or higher, or a Windows Phone 8.0 or higher.

WeatherBrains 529: Attacked by a Possum

WeatherBrains Episode 529 is now online (March 7, 2016). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is an atmospheric scientist with deep roots in severe convective storms, synoptic meteorology, applied climatology, GIS techniques, operational meteorology, and hazards. He is an Associate Professor of Meteorology at the College of DuPage. Victor Gensini, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Dr. Victor GensiniDr. Gensini has a relatively diverse background, but he considers himself first and foremost an atmospheric scientist. His research interests are primarily rooted in: severe convective storms, synoptic meteorology, applied climatology, GIS techniques, operational meteorology, and hazards. He is currently researching the relationship between historical observed convective variables and those produced by reanalyses datasets. Of interest is the relative utility of using reanalysis to approximate atmospheric environments conducive to severe convective storms. Additionally, he is researching aspects surrounding high-resolution dynamical downscaling of global climate model data using the WRF model for purposes of resolving convection under future SRES emissions scenarios. And if that doesn’t fill your plate, he is investigating linkages between various climate teleconnections and severe weather activity across the US.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 92 at Zapata, TX, and 4 at Presque Isle, ME
  • Major rain event setting up on the western side of the Lower Mississippi River
  • Risk of severe storms in Texas and Oklahoma during the show
  • Astronomy Outlook with Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is now the chief at her station, so she does the show from the studio. And for the first time ever, we get the email segment in at the top of the show.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: Oops! The professor completely forgot to record his 101 segment after getting it ready. So tune in next week for a look at ranking winter storms.

Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

Web Sites from Episode 529:

Texas Severe Storms Association

American Weather and Climate Industry Association

College of DuPage

College of DuPage Meteorology

College of DuPage Next Generation Weather Lab

Forecasting tornadoes 2-3 weeks in advance

Extended Range Tornado Activity Forecasts (ERTAF)

To subscribe to the brand new SkyWritings, an email newsletter from the WeatherBrains gang, click HERE.

Picks of the Week:

Victor Gensini – Columbia University Severe Weather Seminar

25th advanced spotter seminar

Time lapse weather video collection

Bill Murray – Tim Vasquez’ Weather Map Handbook

Brian Peters – A global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions

John Scala – Time-lapse video of the weather of 2015

Kevin Selle – Update on NHC products and services in 2016

James Spann – Review of the WeatherBrains podcast

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Twitter post of Wisconsin Thunderstorms

SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like Nate Johnson, Bill Murray, Dr. John Scala, Aubrey Urbanowicz, Rick Smith, Kevin Selle, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

Audible.com graphic


WeatherBrains is a proud affiliate of NetAtmo Weather Stations.

Easy to install and affordable. Get your’s today!

You can monitor your data on iOS 4 or higher, Android 4.0 or higher, or a Windows Phone 8.0 or higher.