Third Thursday Interview: Rick Shema, CCM

For this week’s Third Thursday interview, I am so excited for you to meet a colleague of mine, Rick Shema. I met Rick while we were both serving terms on the American Meteorological Society Board of Certified Consulting Meteorologists (BCCM). Rick owns Weatherguy.com, a company which specializes in marine meteorology. He provides forecasts and support services for marine applications, and also provides expert testimony for marine cases in litigation. His love of the water and Naval experience give him top notch credentials in his work. We’ve had the opportunity to collaborate together both on the BCCM and on a case or two over the years, and I always enjoy working with him. His passion, integrity, and enthusiasm for what he does comes through in every aspect of his work. I hope you enjoy getting to know Rick as much as I have!

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Celebrating The Weather Blog’s 100th (Post)!

It is amazing to believe, but here we are: this week’s post marks the 100th time that Kelly and I have been fortunate enough to connect with our readers! I have to admit, I was filled with some trepidation as we began this journey not quite two years ago, wondering what on earth we might write about when we committed to blogging weekly. Worse yet, who would want to read it? To my surprise and delight, writers block has been a rare occurrence, and we enjoy and read all of the comments from our readers. I thought it would be fun to go back into the archives and reflect on how this space has grown and evolved since we posted our first entry back in December of 2018.

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Weather Safety and Preparedness for Kids

After Kelly’s great blog about mental health and tropical cyclones, I thought it would be great to piggy back off this idea and discuss how to deal with anxiety and worries which kids may have about hazardous weather. Extreme, or even just abnormal, weather can be a cause of anxiety in kids of all ages. Children are often fearful of the unknown, and having questions about weather phenomena, particularly those which seem scary due to seeing footage on television or hearing parents talk, can be particularly unnerving. As Kelly discussed in our ‘Ask Me Anything: Weather Edition‘ event which we held a few months ago, we firmly believe that talking to children at an age-appropriate level about weather and teaching them how to prepare and be safe during hazardous weather can go a long way toward helping reassure children and ease some of that ‘fear of the unknown’. Let’s dig a little deeper and talk about some ways that parents, teachers, and other authority figures can help empower children to be less fearful and more prepared.

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NOAA Profiles: National Hurricane Center/Central Pacific Hurricane Center

This week we continue our profiles on the various agencies that make up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA. Since we are in the peak time of Atlantic Hurricane season right now, it seems like a great time to take a closer look at what the forecasters at the National Hurricane Center do, and some of the services they provide.

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Wild September Weather in the West

Labor Day weekend in the northeast United States was absolutely beautiful. Full sun, not too hot, perfect weather for the traditional end-of-summer activities that usually fill that weekend. However, early September has been filled with weather conditions that are anything BUT perfect in other parts of the country. Let’s take a look:

Webcam image from the Continental Divide Webcam, located at Glacier Basin Campground in Rocky Mountain National Park, from September 9, 2020. Courtesy: NPS.
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Third Thursday Interview: Ross Lazear

This month, I am so excited to profile one of my friends, Ross Lazear, of the University at Albany. You will never meet a person who is more enthusiastic about his work than Ross, and that enthusiasm transfers right into the numerous students who he has taught over the years. I have had the great privilege of getting to know Ross both personally and professionally during his time at UAlbany, attending minor league baseball games, talking about weather at meetings and conferences, and most recently, taking some of his students as interns to learn about forensic meteorology. And with that introduction, I will let Ross tell you about himself in his own words!

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How the Weather Influenced Space-X Crew Dragon Launch and Landing

Many families with school-aged kids, including my own, were very excited to watch the launch of the SpaceX Crew Dragon rocket, containing astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. Meteorology is a field where the public and private sectors have to intentionally collaborate, and so it was really neat to see another positive outcome of a successful working relationship between a private company (SpaceX) and a government agency (NASA) to launch American astronauts into space on American soil for the first time since the space shuttle program ended in 2011.

Courtesy: NASA.
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Weather Quiz: Fact or Fiction?

For this week’s blog, I thought it would fun to look at some commonly accepted weather ‘facts’, and find out whether they are really true or not! Take the quiz below, and then scroll down to see how you did!

True or false?

  1. Lightning never strikes the same place twice.
  2. Being out in the cold air causes sickness.
  3. Flash flooding only happens near rivers and streams.
  4. If the car in front of you drives through a flooded roadway, it is also safe for you to do so.
  5. Crickets chirp frequency can tell you about the air temperature.
  6. Raindrops are shaped like teardrops.
  7. Clouds don’t weigh anything.
  8. You can tell how far away a lightning strike was by counting the time between the flash and when you hear thunder.
  9. Working out in the cold weather makes you burn calories faster.
  10. At any given time, there are approximately 2000 thunderstorms occurring around the world.
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Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

With everything that is going on here on planet Earth and in the United States right now, I was so excited to read this interesting bit of news about a new visitor to the night sky and our solar system, Comet C/2020 F3, known as NEOWISE. My kids and I have had a lot of fun looking for the comet in the night sky, and so I thought that it might be fun to learn a little bit more about it. Most of us who study the weather are fascinated by ANY cool object or phenomenon in the sky, and I am no exception! I distinctly recall being an elementary school student back in 1986 and learning about Halley’s Comet. It was visible to the naked eye at the time, and returns to earth once every 75 years. I remember thinking how OLD I would be when it returned in 2061 (which doesn’t seem nearly so far away nowadays!!!). Comet NEOWISE will only return to earth about once every 6800 years, so this is something you will not want to miss seeing!

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