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!

Continue reading “Third Thursday Interview: Ross Lazear”

Natural Disasters: The Road to Recovery and How to Give Back

Within the last month, millions of Americans have been touched in some way by natural disaster….and depending on where you live in the country or world, you may or may not have heard all of the details of each. A severe weather event, known as a derecho (checkout this blog for more info on what a derecho is!), took place across the Midwestern United States August 10-11, 2020, wreaking moderate to severe damage. On August 27, Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana, leaving many have been left without homes, food, clothing, and other essential needs.he journey back to any place of seemingly normality will be on the time-scale of years, not months, for many. There are areas that are expected to be without running water and electricity for months. And now? Less than a month after the derecho, multiple wildfires are burning in the west. We care about all those impacted by these natural disasters, and we wanted to share resources to include ways to give back to those impacted by these events.

Lake Charles, LA. Photo Courtesy: Elise Venable (@VenableMBBS)
Continue reading “Natural Disasters: The Road to Recovery and How to Give Back”

Understanding the Strength of Tropical Storms: Pressure, Winds, and Surge

One week ago today, Hurricane Laura made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana…a community whose residents are no stranger to the devastation of tropical storms. Category 3 Hurricane Audrey caused over 300 deaths in the small town in 1957, and nearly 50 years later, the town was struck again. While everyone fortunately evacuated before Category 5 Hurricane Rita, the storm devastated the town in September 2005. Then, in the midst of recovery from Rita, in came Hurricane Ike, leveling the town with a 12 foot storm surge. Ike destroyed over 90% of the homes within the parish and caused catastrophic flooding in every part of the parish. The damage sustained by both Rita and Ike led to stricter building codes and higher insurance costs, leading to the town’s dramatic reduction in population – from 1,965 people in 2000 to just 406 in 2010.

Credit: NOAA
Continue reading “Understanding the Strength of Tropical Storms: Pressure, Winds, and Surge”

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.
Continue reading “How the Weather Influenced Space-X Crew Dragon Launch and Landing”

Karin Ardon-Dryer: an Inspiring, Successful, Motivating Scientist

A few months ago, I happened to stumble across this article , which discussed an ongoing study investigating mask effectiveness in the face of COVID-19. I’ve always valued interdisciplinary work, and the intersection of health and atmospheric science is one close to my heart since I also studied it while in graduate school. I decided to reach out to the atmospheric scientist on the panel of researchers, and I am so glad that I did! Dr. Karin Ardon-Dryer was an absolute delight to chat with, and I cannot wait to share her story with you all. She has a radiant personality that makes talking with her feel like talking to an old friend, and she truly cares about being a champion for women and minorities.

Continue reading “Karin Ardon-Dryer: an Inspiring, Successful, Motivating Scientist”

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.
Continue reading “Weather Quiz: Fact or Fiction?”

How to Plan a Wedding with Weather in Mind

Hi friends! As you might have seen in our spring newsletter that we published a couple of weeks ago, I was supposed to get married back in April…but of course, COVID-19 had other plans and we ultimately decided to postpone our big day. However, before the pandemic, I had drafted this blog to share how to plan your wedding while considering the effects that the weather might have on your day. Of course, you can’t predict what the weather will be when you set your date, but there are some things you can do to give yourself the best chances for your ideal wedding weather.

Continue reading “How to Plan a Wedding with Weather in Mind”

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!

Continue reading “Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)”

Third Thursday Interview: Ron Baskett

I am so excited to share with you this month’s Third Thursday interview with Ron Baskett. I first met Ron as a very nervous candidate when I walked into the board room to take my Certified Consulting Meteorologist (CCM) oral exam in January 2015. His friendly demeanor, along with that of the rest of the board, immediately put me at ease and helped to make the experience much less nerve-wracking, and, dare I say, even enjoyable? He was later assigned to me as a mentor as I began my term on the CCM Board. Ron has a background in air pollution meteorology, and so our different backgrounds and areas of expertise really gave me the opportunity to learn so much about an area of meteorology that is so different from what I do on a day-in, day-out basis. I learned so much from Ron during my time on the CCM board, and he was always happy to answer my (many) questions! Ron always made time to discuss board-related topics with me whenever I had a question, and always took time to first inquire about how things were going personally and professionally. As a new CCM, that meant a lot and I was grateful to have had such a mentor. He is now retired from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and enjoys an active life full of time spent outdoors, with family, volunteering, avidly reading journal articles and other material, and generally enjoying a well-earned retirement! We continue to correspond periodically, and I always enjoy receiving an email update from Ron. While we haven’t seen each other in person in quite some time, I always look forward to those opportunities. I hope you enjoy getting to know Ron via this interview as well!

Continue reading “Third Thursday Interview: Ron Baskett”