Weather Geeks

Weather Geeks

You see it every day. It’s the subject of poetry, literature, art and film. It can inspire spiritual experiences, and it can destroy everything you have ever worked for. It is the weather, and no one knows it better than we do. Join us every week for the agony and the ecstasy of the one story that the entire world participates in and the science behind it. From the people behind The Weather Channel TV network.


February 21, 2024 38 mins

Guest: Dr. David Wilmouth

Episode Intro: On January 15, 2022, a massive eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano occurred, sending literal shockwaves around the globe and releasing millions of tons of material into the atmosphere. This eruption was unprecedented in the modern satellite era in terms of how much water vapor was injected into the stratosphere and just how far into the stratosphere it penetrat...

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Guest: Adam Smith, NOAA / NCEI

Episode Intro: 2023 set the record for the most billion dollar disasters in the United States in one calendar year. As the name suggests, a billion dollar disaster is a weather or climate disaster event with losses exceeding one billion dollars. From flooding to drought, winter storms to hurricanes, there were 28 billion dollar disasters last year. Our next guest is the lead scientist for...

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February 7, 2024 29 mins

Guest: Dr. Jonathan Kahl, Professor at UW-Milwaukee

If you’re a sports fan, you may know the term “Scorigami!” When you have a score combination that has never occurred before, you achieve Scorigami! And this inspired our guest Dr. Jonathan Kahl to create “Weathergami.” Instead of Team A vs Team B, he looks at high temperature vs low temperature at each location. While it sounds like a fun way to organiz...

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January 31, 2024 36 mins

Guest: Greg Carbin

Over the past half a century, we’ve been experiencing the same thunderstorms, blizzards, and hurricanes. Our changing climate may have altered how these weather phenomena act, and in turn the technology we use to research and forecast these events have changed as well! From a local NWS office to the SPC and the WPC, today’s guest has seen decades of change across these institutions and has made ...

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Guest: Dr. Justin Sharpe

We all know the saying “if a tree falls in a forest and there’s nobody around to hear it, does it make a sound?” Well in our world, we can say something like “if a forecast is perfect, but it doesn’t get disseminated properly, did it do any good?” There are still leaps and bounds that need to be made in the weather industry to bridge the gap between the research and communication when it c...

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Guest: Liz Leitman

You are probably familiar with severe thunderstorm and tornado watches. The storm prediction center and its predecessors have been issuing them since the 1950’s to alert people that thunderstorms may develop and bring damaging winds, hail or tornadoes. About a hundred of these are issued every year. Believe it or not, the first convective watch issued by a woman was just last year in 2023.&...

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Guest: Dr. Michael Mann

The topic of climate change and the future of our planet is both a controversial as well as at times difficult topic to understand. But if we want to know more about our future, we need to take a look into the history of our planet and our species. In his latest book, Our Fragile Moment, Dr. Michael Mann walks readers through our paleoclimate record and illustrates how it can serve as a roadmap to pr...

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Guests: Jessica Arnoldy

Introduction: A lot of us have memories of being carpooled to your Saturday morning Little League game or having PB&J’s at the picnic table after soccer practice with your teammates before seeing them in class the very next day.  Or how about waking up early to tailgate for the afternoon football game?  Sports have such an impact on all of our lives, whether we are actuall...

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December 20, 2023 39 mins

Roundtable with: Jen Carfagno, Dr. Greg Postel, Heather Zons

Another year around the sun means another year of all sorts of weather, both the beautiful and the horrible. Every single season brought its own flavor of extreme weather, from crippling winter storms to monstrous tornadoes to scalding wildfires and of course tropical storms and hurricanes. Even if these weather events didn’t physically impact you, ...

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December 13, 2023 30 mins

Guest: Derek Manzello, Program Coordinator

Picture a coral reef, and you probably have visions of Flounder from The Little Mermaid or Crush from Finding Nemo. Coral reefs should be brimming with life, and are one of Earth’s most diverse ecosystems, providing significant ecological, economic and societal benefits. Unfortunately, they are threatened by climate change, pollution and more. Dr. Derek Manzello...

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December 6, 2023 28 mins

Guest: Chris Goode, Climavision Founder

Introduction: You know the saying: if you put good in, you get good out! In the meteorology world, if you put good data in, you’ll get a good forecast out. But what about the areas that don’t have good data to put into the model, more specifically good radar data? Some areas just aren’t adequately covered and lie in what’s called a radar gap or a doppler dead zone. This ...

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November 29, 2023 41 mins

Guest: Mayra Oyola-Merced, Assistant Professor at UW-Madison

Introduction: Whether it is preparing for hurricane season or getting ready for a severe weather outbreak, you might hear the phrase “weather models.” All kinds of data go into these models, but a new input could be game changing for weather modeling as we head into the future. Satellites. Our next guest is currently an Assistant Professor at the Uni...

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November 15, 2023 30 mins

Guest: Dr. Andrew Schwartz

For several months of the year, the Central Sierra Snow Lab looks like a winter wonderland. Over 60 feet of snow fell this past winter at the lab and our next guest was there to experience it all. Dr. Andrew Schwartz, lead scientist and station manager of the University of California Berkeley Central Sierra Snow Lab, studies snowfall, snowpack, and the impact of climate change on these.

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Guest: Dr. Stephanie Zick, Associate Professor at Virginia Tech

When we think of tornadoes, our minds are immediately drawn to the Southern Plains or the Southeast, right? Well the Midwest has also had their fair share of damaging and deadly tornadoes, not just historically but every single year. A lot of research has been focused on our typical “Tornado Alleys” but sometimes the Midwest gets lost to the ways...

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November 1, 2023 27 mins

Host Jen Carfagno with Guest Dr. Greg Postel

With a raging El Nino in effect, the Eastern Pacific hurricane season was bound to be above average.  However, the number of storms that have impacted land has been surprising!  From October 9th to October 25th, western Mexico has been hit by FOUR consecutive tropical cyclones.  Three were hurricanes at landfall, and the one we want to focus on today is Hurricane O...

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November 1, 2023 27 mins

Guest: Dr. Greg Postel & Jen Carfagno, The Weather Channel

Introduction: With a raging El Nino in effect, the Eastern Pacific hurricane season was bound to be above average. However, the number of storms that have impacted land has been surprising! From October 9th to October 25th, western Mexico has been hit by FOUR consecutive tropical cyclones. Three were hurricanes at landfall, and the o...

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October 25, 2023 36 mins

Guest: Dr. Lonnie Thompson

It’s not just superheroes and first responders that risk their lives to save others, but what about a climatologist? Would you believe that our guest today climbed the summit of multiple mountains for climate research so we could all better understand how our climate has changed over the years? Well it’s true, and it really is an honor to have him on the podcast today! Subject ...

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October 18, 2023 40 mins

Guest: Rei Goffer,

Ursa Minor. Canis Major. Orion. These are all star patterns that you can detect in the night sky called constellations! No matter where you live on Earth, there are constellations that will greet you as you look up. That same principle inspired the company to create a plan to launch dozens of radar satellites to help increase coverage of life-saving weather obse...

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October 11, 2023 35 mins

Guest: Don Hartsell

Introduction: In the upcoming months, we have not one, but two solar eclipses that are set to sweep across the continental United States: an annular eclipse on October 14 and a total solar eclipse on April 8, 2024. The eclipse in April will be the second total eclipse to cross the country in the past decade and the last until 2044. It will also serve as the final exclamation point on a mont...

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October 4, 2023 35 mins

Guest: Dr. Randy Cerveny

When we hear about extreme weather and changing climate, often we hear about the extreme records that are associated with these events: Things like the hottest temperature streak, the heaviest rainfall, and so forth. You may notice when these events are reported, it’s often with the caveat: “if verified”. An often overlooked, but vitally important caveat. So, who are these verifiers and how do they ...

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