WeatherBrains 350: Particularly Dangerous Situation

WeatherBrains Episode 350 is now online (October 8, 2012). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain needs little introduction to our audience. He was Chief Meteorologist and Hurricane Specialist for WFOR-TV, the CBS owned-and-operated television station in Miami, FL. He also served as the chief hurricane analyst for CBS News in New York. He is now a hurricane specialist for The Weather Channel. Bryan Norcross, welcome to WeatherBrains!

Bryan NorcrossNorcross had been a regular fixture on CBS’s national newscasts over recent years due to the renewed frequency of hurricanes. In June, 2008, Norcross opted not to renew his contract with WFOR-TV in order to devote more time to America’s Emergency Network, a private company he formed with Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center. A resident of Miami Beach, Norcross has lived in Florida for most of his life.

Norcross started in television as an engineer at WFSU-TV in Tallahassee, FL, while in college, moving to WXIA-TV (then WQXI-TV) in Atlanta, GA, as a maintenance engineer/technical director after graduation in 1972. At that station he was promoted to acting Production Manager before being transferred to KUSA-TV (then KBTV) in Denver in 1975 as the evening director of the station’s newscasts. In 1976 Norcross was assigned to produce (and for over a year direct as well) the 10:00 pm news which became the market’s highest rated news program. In 1977, Norcross was went to WLKY-TV in Louisville, KY, as News Director. His first day on the job included a massive snow storm. He was the only one able to get to the television station and went on the air with the help of two overnight engineers, providing the city the only TV coverage of the storm.

Upon receiving a Master’s Degree in 1980, Norcross became the first weekend weathercaster on CNN when it signed on in June of that year. Later that year he moved to KGO-TV in San Francisco to do the weekend weather and science reports during the week. In 1981 he returned to Atlanta as Executive Producer for Documentaries and Magazines at WTBS, handling many of Ted Turner’s pet projects. At the same time he was the weekend meteorologist on WXIA-TV. In 1983, Norcross moved to Miami as weekend meteorologist for WPLG, the ABC affiliate. In 1984 he moved to the 5:30 pm news where he created a concept called Neighborhood Weather where the weather was done as part of a live feature every day. In 1990, he moved to WTVJ, the NBC-owned station, as Chief Meteorologist where he became known for his coverage of Hurricane Andrew. As Andrew passed just south of Miami in the early morning hours of Monday, August 24, 1992, Norcross’s 23-hour marathon broadcast became many viewers’ (and radio listeners’) only link to the outside world. His television station was fortunate enough to be the station able to broadcast through the entire hurricane event. Throughout the entire ordeal, Norcross remained calm, steady, and knowledgeable. He joined WFOR as Director of Meteorology in 1996. In 2006, he gave up day-to-day weathercasting responsibilities to concentrate on hurricanes and emergency communications issues.

Also joining us for tonight’s episode is Bob Ryan. Bob Ryan is lead meteorologist on the 11 PM News on ABC7/WJLA-TV and heads digital weather development at ABC7/WJLA-TV. He has served the Washington area as a broadcast meteorologist for more than 30 years.
Ryan began his career in the atmospheric sciences as an associate researcher in the Physics Section with Arthur D. Little Inc. in Cambridge, MA, where he conducted research in cloud physics. He holds a BS degree in Physics and M.S. in Atmospheric Science from the University at Albany. While at ADL Ryan began to work part time as a broadcast meteorologist in Boston. Eventually his broadcast career became full time and his research career part time. He became the principal meteorologist with Channel 5, WCVB-TV in Boston, and the first meteorologist to regularly appear on the “Today Show” from 1978-1980.

Bob RyanBefore joining ABC7/WJLA-TV, Ryan was Chief Meteorologist at NBC4 where he initiated and supported many one-of-a-kind programs. For 25 years, his annual Almanac provided weather and environmental information and data to readers and raised over $600,000 for local children’s charities. He created and oversaw a program which, with corporate partners, placed more than 400 interactive weather stations in area schools. This program became what is now the WeatherBug network at ABC7/WJLA-TV. The project gives students a “hands on” introduction to meteorology and what science really is and provides opportunities for practical applications of their science, math and geography studies. Ryan was also co-investigator for a NASA supported project which led to one of the first television weather sites on the Internet, WeatherNet4.

Outside his news and ABC7/WJLA-TV weather department duties, Ryan remains actively involved in his science. He has served the American Meteorological Society Chair of the Committee of Broadcast Meteorology, Commissioner of Professional Affairs, Member of the Council of the Society and in 1996 as the only broadcast meteorologist elected President of the AMS. Additionally Ryan has been called to testify before various committees of Congress and recently served on the National Academy of Science, Board of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate. He has also served on report committees of the National Research Council and the Advisory Committee of the Geosciences Directorate of the National Science Foundation.

During his career he has received numerous awards including regional Emmys for Weathercasting and the Ted Yates Emmy for outstanding service to the community. He has received the University of Albany “Distinguished Alumni” Award, the Charles Franklin Brooks Award from the AMS, for his outstanding service, and was one of the 1996 “Washingtonians of the Year.”

Ryan is most proud of his recognition as “husband and father”. He and his family reside in Virginia.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes today: 97 at Bullhead City, AZ, and 5 at Shirley Basin, WY
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: High and low pressure systems come in basically two categories, warm core and cold core. In this installment of WeatherBrains 101, we take a look at the two type of low pressure systems. This episode will be followed next week by part two looking into the characteristics of high pressure systems.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of October 8th .

    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 350:

    America’s Emergency Network (there is no web site for this company)

    WJLA-TV Weather, Washington, DC

    Explanation of Weather Channel Naming of Winter Storms

    Smart phones in a Magazine?

    Picks of the Week:

    Nate Johnson – Cloud Globe

    Brian Peters – Article on Naming Winter Storms

    Kevin Selle – NWS Website User Survey

    James Spann – Foliage Network

    JP Spann – The Weather Doctor

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

    We love to hear from you! To leave a recorded message, call 1-888-247-8627. Some calls may be used in future episodes. Also, feel free to post comments to the site and drop us an email at email at (at symbol) weatherbrains dot com. graphic

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