Thursday, December 4, 2014

Visiting The Weather Channel

On the set of WX Geeks with host Marshall Shepherd
The Weather Channel is arguably the most important communicator and popularizer of science in America today.  Neil deGrasse Tyson is the Carl Sagan of our time, but The Weather Channel is a 24/7 operation that has been around for 30 years.  They are a leader in weather forecasting and communication within my discipline and when they called me a few days ago and offered me the opportunity to fly to Atlanta and tape an episode of their WX Geeks show, I seized it.

We taped the episode last night and it was an amazing experience.  I have been on television sets before, but the scope of activities at The Weather Channel is really amazing.  Here are a few photos.

As I mentioned above, The Weather Channel is arguably the most important communicator and popularizer of science in America today.  They certainly stimulated my interest in science and weather when I was a kid.  I was impressed during my visit at the quality of people that I met.  Greg Forbes was actually a professor of mine when I was at Penn State and has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He joined The Weather Channel in 1999.  Tom Niziol is now the Weather Channel's Winter Weather Expert, was a member of the forecast team of the 2002 Winter Olympics, and has over 30 years of forecasting experience with the National Weather Service.  While talking with Tom, I noticed an important recent paper on winter storms from one of my profession's most prestigious scientific journals was lying on his desk and was heavily highlighted.  So great to see.  Of course, there was also Jim Cantore, who is as friendly and excited about the weather off camera as he is on the air.

WX Geeks is a "high-profile" talk show (I put that in quotes as my appearance might pull that ranking down!) hosted by Dr. Marshall Shepherd, a professor at the University of Georgia, a former president of the American Meteorological Society, and one of the more prominent atmospheric scientists of my generation.  Although I knew him by reputation, I hadn't met Marshall previously.  He's not a skier, but was game for some fun talk on snow and avalanches, so the taping went well.  Plus, with only 2" of snow at Alta yesterday, I didn't miss a deep powder day while on the road.

The show will air later in the month.  I'll post up a time once it is scheduled.  


  1. Off topic but possibly of interest:

    My Amazon order of "Greatest Snow" has arrived --haven't read a word but the pictures and graphics are great!

    1. Tommy T - I can't believe it took that long to arrive. Amazon must have clogged arteries. I hope you enjoy. Give me a good review if you do!


  2. More off topic. Couldn't wait for the paper version, so downloaded the e-book from Barnes & Noble. Looks good on the iPad reader. Good alignment, spacing, etc. I'm giving a few copies of the hard copies as gifts for Xmas!

    1. Good to hear it looks good on iPad. I haven't seen it on that platform yet.