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WeatherBrains 416: This is Only the Second One

WeatherBrains Episode 416 is now online (January 13, 2014). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Tonight’s Guest WeatherBrain is currently a Ph.D. student at Virginia Tech studying different aspects of the weather warning process. Jen Henderson is studying different aspects of the weather warning process looking at the historical origins of technologies that influence forecasting today; she learns from meteorologists about how they conduct the day-to-day operations of keeping people safe from severe weather; she studies how students learn to become meteorologists and atmospheric scientists; and she considers different technical, ethical, and sociopolitical issues that arise as these experts interact with different kinds of publics. At its most basic, I follow those experts who follow the weather.

Jennifer HendersonShe has been fascinated with weather since she was twelve-years-old when she saw a waterspout dance across the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Nothing had ever seemed so magical before. Ever since then, she’s been drawn to the skies, whether it’s a simple summer thunderstorm or a massive tornadic supercell spinning like a top over the red dirt of Oklahoma.

Her field is called Science and Technology Studies, or STS. It’s an interdisciplinary program that intersects with three main disciplines: history, sociology, and philosophy. By interweaving the theories and methods of these disciplines, alongside those developed within STS itself, scholars in her field become scientists who study scientists–or scholars interested in different kinds of expertise and the process of knowledge creation.

Before returning to graduate school in 2011, she studied creative nonfiction at Goucher College, where she received her MFA and wrote essays, poems, and articles for different magazines. She enjoys writing, especially as I learn more about the complex nature of weather and forecasting. Her most recent essay about her experience storm chasing with a group of Virginia Tech undergraduate meteorology students, “What We Chase,” is available in the autumn 2013 issue of the American Scholar.

Tonight’s Guest Panelist is the morning/midday Meteorologist at KHAS-TV in Hastings, NE. Travis Klanecky has his Bachelor of Science degree in Meteorology/Climatology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Travis joined the Skywatch 5 Weather Team in June, 2008. He is a St. Paul native.

Travis KlaneckyWhile in college, he was an intern at KOLN/KGIN in Lincoln. After graduating, he moved on to become the morning meteorologist at KDLT in Sioux Falls, SD. After a year in Sioux Falls, Travis and his wife moved back to Central Nebraska to be closer to family and friends. Travis’ interest in weather began at a very young age. When he was two, St. Paul was struck by a tornado. His favorite aspect of meteorology is severe weather. During the spring and summer months, he joins the News 5 storm chase team in the field, working to bring live coverage of severe weather as it happens.

Travis enjoys presenting his forecast to the people of Nebraska and Northern Kansas. He says, “because I grew up here, I have a great understanding of how the weather works in the Central Plains. Having a career that I love makes those early mornings so much easier to handle.”

Besides the weather, Travis enjoys spending his free time with wife and two kids. He is an avid Husker fan, which is pretty obvious if you’re a regular watcher of News 5 Today.

Also joining us with some “breaking news” is Jesse Ferrell from Accu-Weather, Inc.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 84 at Harlingen, TX, and Santa Ana, CA and -5 at Alamosa, CO
  • Niagara Falls Freezes – but not completely
  • Weather has turned milder after record-breaking cold
  • Don’t say “polar vortex”
  • and more!
  • Our email bag officer is BACK with the latest from our listeners.

    Nate’s News Links:

    Weather Channel Urging Viewers to Pressure DirecTV

    Los Angeles Times Article on Weather Channel/DirecTV

    Weather Channel Campaign

    NCEP’s New Director

    NWA Councilors

    Final Bill for 2013 Extreme Weather

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: This episode of WeatherBrains 101 goes especially geeky as we delve into the formation processes for snow, that white stuff falling from the sky that absolutely puts people in the Southeast US on one ear.

    TWIWH: Bill Murray looks back at the week of January 13th. Snow and tornadoes grab the headlines.

    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 416:

    American Scholar, Autumn 2013 – “What We Chase”

    Accu-Weather Launches 24-Hour TV Channel

    Weather Nation

    Picks of the Week:

    Jennifer Henderson – Superstorm Research Lab

    Nate Johnson – The Weather Trap

    Travis Klanecky – National Geographic Top 5 Sky Events of 2014

    Bill Murray – SeCAPS Seminar

    Brian Peters – Explanation of ENSO from NASA

    James Spann – Aurora Forecast App

    Aubrey Urbanowicz – NASA’s AIRS View of Polar Vortex

    SkyDavers Blog – The Fog Bank

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

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