EP 86 The Amazing Secrets of a Weatherman

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The Amazing Secrets of a Weather Man

So it got a little frustrating because they had their own problem with that. Like how do you tell people that this year? Okay. Let’s say you knew only one hurricane was coming to make landfall one. What do you do? So, we started kind of messaging every year you prepare for that event every year.

Todd:     Hi and welcome to EM Weekly and this is your host, Todd speaking. I’m lucky to live in southern California for the last 20 years. Maybe a little more than 20 years. But. So anyway, we’re living here in southern California and if I wanted to see snow I drive up into the mountains and the snow and it’s kind of cool that way because of this, you know, we don’t think of a weather a lot out here is an issue I suppose now we do get rain and obviously after we have fires and rain comes or worried about the mudslides or debrief low things like this, it really is a concern. Right. And so, you know, whether it does become a really important part of the emergency manager’s life. We’re coming off of two hurricanes that hit the south-east, whether really drives a lot of what we do is emergency managers, you know, so I think it’s really important to know how the system works.

And so, before we get into the interview, I’d like to invite you all to come to the EM Weekly, a group on Facebook to discuss what’s going on in emergency management today and join the conversation. And we have a lot of fun over there. We to chat every once in a while. I get to do some, uh, some cool live videos over there to talk to people what was going on, emergency management. So they really tried to be interactive over there. So we try to have fun. That’s the goal, at least over there. You can also follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, twitter, Instagram, whatever, you know, those, uh, social media things. Yeah. So come on over and check us out and have fun.

So, well, let’s get into the interview.

So, it’s awesome. I have Alex Tardy here with me from Noah. I’ve known Alex for a little while here and work on some cool projects together and I finally, finally, finally was able to get them to come onto the show. So Alex, welcome to EM Weekly.

Alex:      Thanks for having me on.

Todd:     So Alex, tell me how you got involved with meteorology.

Alex:      So meteorology was a passion, you know, when you say, Oh yeah, I want to do that when you’re five years old. That’s what I said. And it didn’t come necessarily from me wanting to look at lightning, or snow, it came from skiing. I got involved with skiing growing up back east in New England and I couldn’t understand why we would have a snow storm in the forecast and they say 10 inches and maybe two inches fell or they say two inches and 12 inches fell. It became a fascination, almost a frustration obsession.

So, I started following whether watching it real closely and then I got into other weather, like lightning flooding type of thing, but it all started and stemmed out of will the skiing be really good, good, bad. And why is the forecast wrong? So the weather channel, have you heard that before? The weather channel was certainly a culprit because in 1982 when we first got cable, the weather channel was showing all these forecasts and my local forecast and all that and I just kept following it got to the point where I just wrote it down on paper. I would write down what actually really happened, like at my house and, and tracking it really closely and then watching the forecast and I just remember thinking, you know, Gosh, we can, we do a little bit better with the forecasts and next thing you know, I’m taking college courses.

Todd:     That’s awesome. What school did you go to?

Alex:      A state University of New York, Albany, which is one of the better programs actually for meteorology back east. Believe it or not, when  you check into schools you don’t have… Not every school is offering meteorology or atmospheric science. So when I first started looking into it, you know, like my sister wanted to be a nurse so she started looking into it. Like every school seemed to have some type of nursing program or business or something. But when I looked at the meteorology, I got a little worried. I was like, wow, I have to leave my home state, I’ll have to go somewhere else, I have to go to a big school. It turns out, you know, there’s, there’s more than. I thought there was the internet at that time, but I ended up going to Albany and, one of the better professors that’s known kind of worldwide is still working there to this day

Todd:     The University of Albany is a great thing and they have a really great lacrosse program there by the way. Everybody. So if you guys remember, if you’re listening to some of my speeches, I actually went back to Albany last year and was able to speak to the emergency management program there. And so they also have a really quality EM program at the U Albany as well.

So just a little plug for you guys over there and the great state of New York. So you went to u Albany, you get your degree and then you start becoming a storm Chaser, right?

Alex:      Yeah. So when you, when you start learning more about it and then you actually think that you’re like a forecaster or you can actually do stuff or you actually understand the concept and the science of it. Yeah. You start being more adventurous. So I used to be, I just was at home following whether locally, but then, you know, like with friends and stuff from school that have similar interests. Yeah, we’d go a different type of storm chasing and it’s not always, it wasn’t always like classic storm chasing. We would get excited over lake effect, Snow coming off the Great Lakes. Uh, we would, I would go like an evening and just chase a lake effect snow band. That’s crazy as that sounds. Yeah. So you see on tv that all you chase a tornado, that’s it. That’s exciting. Quite dangerous but exciting. But yeah, we would chase crazy stuff up, go skiing in the middle of a snow storm when we knew it was going to be horrible whiteout conditions, miserable.

And just to be out in the element, you know, and experience it, you know. Flooding. We did some stupid stuff like where we would jump in like standing water in the parking lot after a big thunderstorm. Wow. We’re swimming in a parking lot. So, um, it became more of a, you know, experiencing all different types, types of weather. We did have respect for the weather. Like I, I remember even to this day, but back then to that I was scared of lightning. I kept thinking, you know, that I was going to be struck by lightning for some weird reason.

My mom used to have to like, lock the door in the house even as a teenager and like you’re not going out until the storm has done. She was more than mercy manager.

Todd:     So or another you through your career you ended up with. NOAH, How did you get there?

Alex:      Coming out of college in the nineties, it was kind of a transition with Noah or national weather service was, was trying to close down a lot of places but also expand and bring in new technology, weather radar, automated weather stations, new satellites.

With that came new offices. So a lot of the old seventies technology that I was trained on, literally seventies technology was being replaced and they had a pretty aggressive plan. So they hired a lot of people in the nineties and I got hired in a place where probably no one listening knows where it is, Volens, Virginia, and you know, you apply with a generic application, you know, like I’ll go anywhere and here’s my application. You actually have an interview on the phone interview, not in person. They still don’t do in person interviews. And then you have a couple openings that come up and you say yes or no.

Have you like in a pool and they pick you. So I had a choice between Glasgow, Montana and Volens Virginia. And when I saw Glasgow I said I know that that’s a really cold place. And I grew up in a cold place. I don’t want them cold. So Virginia, how back in Virginia Be? So I took this place well, but then after I accepted the job I didn’t know where the heck I was going and I had to go to like a travel agency and asked them. They didn’t know. So we break out this big map on a table in our point in around, you know it is a near Washington DC. No. Is it western? No northern, no, it’s like down near the North Carolina border and like literally nowhere. So I was given advice which was probably the best advice that I ever could be given by someone in the agency.

And they said just get your foot in the door, just take it and go, don’t think about it. So I went, I, I didn’t own anything and just took my car. They told me to show up on a certain day. I had to go to like the county jail and get fingerprints and they put it in the federal system and you’re cleared. And I started working there and to this day, you know, the best thing that could have done because it led to a lot of other possibilities and potential and promotion and opportunities. But if I thought about it too much I probably wouldn’t have gone.

Todd:     So that’s amazing that you ended up starting in Virginia. Now you’re in San Diego. That’s kind of cool.

Alex:      Yeah. There’s opportunities to move around because we have offices and still to this day, 122 offices in almost every major city. When I go to, when I went to San Diego, people always say, what are you going to do? you’re going to be bored. You’re going to hate meteorology? No, no, I’ll be okay. I got it out of my system. I mean remember I went skiing and snow storms. I intentionally chase storms. I intentionally went swimming in rain water coming down a creek. So I’m, I’m not, I’m not going to have those opportunities nearly as much, but I can do it remotely and I can still follow it remotely. It turns out like with the emergency management world, which I wasn’t thinking about, you know, 20 years ago, there’s so many emergency managers in southern California that it’s like one after another opportunity after another and yeah, sure you have a shortage of weather, but then when you do get, whether,

Todd:     It’s severe,

Alex:      It’s severe and impacts that large population. So it’s kind of a different type of strategy. When I first really just loved it and craved it, needed it, I want it to be in it, now, you know, we’re in southern California right now. I wouldn’t pass it up. It’s nice to be able to not constantly think, well we’ll weather effect this will weather effect that the droughts are annoying because there you can’t do anything about it. It’s frustrating. It just keeps going on and on. But that’s lack of weather. So. But normal weather in California has enough excitement and keep me busy.

Todd:     Well, you know, it’s kind of interesting because as an emergency manager, obviously one of the things that we think about is whether or not even just about the weather regarding what it is today. Is it going to be sunny out, but how is that going to affect one fires or two? How’s it gonna affect the troops out there on the ground as far as how often do we need to rotate people through, you know, people stay extended out there. What’s the water situation going to be like, you know, how much sunscreen do you have to wear? Things like this that we had to think about on that process and whether it really becomes everything that we do.

Because I mean disasters aren’t inside the air conditioning where you can just turn the air conditioner up and down, you know. So that’s really important. So that’s a good Segway right there. With weather and emergency management, how did you get involved with realistically the Emergency Management Side of, of weather?

Alex:      So originally when I was involved in the deep core weather and like playing in the weather, if you will, I then kind of branched off into more the science and understanding. And I actually was working as a science officer for several years doing research papers or conducting case studies, trying to figure out what happened. Why did it happen, why did we predict it or not? Predictive, and then I realized after a while going to conferences, there’s actually a whole other side of it, like a societal impact, the population, that messaging of the information. Sure you can know the science, but if you can’t message it, no one’s gonna listen to you. No one’s going to respond, no one’s going to react, no one is going to prepare. So that part became kind of like a challenge, if you will, rather than just burying your head into like the science and the research and now I realize, you know, all of those are active, you know, in society right now.

And they’re all, you know, there’s researchers and scientists and they’re all trying to play together so that ultimately the messaging can get out there so people can actually take action before they’re in harm’s way or understand something better or maybe even something simple like buy flood insurance if they’re in a flood prone area. I realized that, um, you know, the cause, they kind of trained us originally like, oh no, you’re a scientist. Oh No, you’re a media person. And there was never any like overlap and I realized, you know, getting a message out, you need to talk to the media, you need to be able to talk to the mercy managers, you need to go talk to the first responders, the fire chief and, and be able to get that message out there so that they can make, make a decision that hopefully would save lives and property and in the long run, but may actually just be involved in their daily routine and operations.

And there’s no shortage of that in California. Like you mentioned with fire weather. I mean it could, it could be the like we’ve seen multiple fires in the past year that are just as costly, just as deadly, just as scary, just as confusing, just as crazy as the big floods that we’ve had as well.

Todd:     So speaking to the floods, Florence comes in, it looks like it’s going to be this big cat, four hurricane going to slam into North Carolina and all of a sudden she peters out at the end. Cat One, maybe just a tropical depression, you know, comes in here, but she stalls and she dumps a lot of rain and so now we have this flooding that’s still going on. Let’s walk through that a little bit and then like, How come, let me rephrase that. When we send these warning signs saying look at this big cat four’s comments, kind of ripped the roof off your house and then it becomes, you know, downgrades to a one and people go, whatever, the Meteorologist got it wrong and now I’m evacuating for no particular reason, but obviously when it stalled and we had the flooding, we still have a budget, rescues and some deaths that occurred for Florence.

How do we message that? Right? And how do we not look at it where it’s this big scary thing and run for your life, but we still want you to leave.

Alex:      It’s the hurricanes are great example because there’s typically a long lead time before they make landfall. It’s not like a fire per say where you get the ignition and you got windy conditions and is out of control covering 30,000 acres in 24 hours.

You see it coming, you see a building now or almost like a victim of our own success. So all this categorization, like with the tornado, like I don’t tell you run for cover, you get an F four coming at your house. I might have some information like on radar that shows the wind speeds are near F four. I may have some history of the damage. I typically don’t say F four, I just say tornado and you’re like, “Got It” I’m out of their plan B, and like with a hurricane it’s become, because we can forecast them, you know, days in advance and they’re large and they’re slow moving. It’s become kind of a sense that we’re okay. It’s only a category two, it’s only a one, oh look out, it’s a five, oh it’s not going my way. It’s going your way. And then we have this cone which shows all the air.

The bottom line is the error, like with the track, you know, after day three, it can be quite significant. The error with intensity, like the category is something that we actually have a whole entire NOAH project working on because we as humans, we as computer models and everything are having a lot of trouble with the intensity of it. The problem with that is if you’re sitting in harm’s way, it’s very easy to look at, well, it’s only a category one. It’s. It’s barely a two. It’s not that bad. You know what? I lived through Hugo, that was a four, so I’m okay.

I shouldn’t be okay and there. So we started playing those mind games and stuff, but on the other hand, we know darn well that like tropical storm Allison for example, in Texas previously the highest rainfall before Harvey produced like 30 inches of rain in one location, just kept raining and raining and raining. Those tropical storm that the rainfall has really nothing to do with the wind speed and the wind speed has nothing to do with rainfall that they’re completely, but we try to categorize as one stop shopping type of thing. So it. It does lead to a large false perception. There’s a big debate now in the research community and they’re really been for a while about how, how do we improve this messaging, how do we talk to social scientists to figure out why do people not respond to category one, why do they respond to category four or higher, that type of thing.

Or do they respond to that? Are they just thinking of the last event they lived through and comparing it, which a lot of us do. So we have a big challenge with that and because the rainfall in some of these tropical systems and the movement is not necessarily becoming less predictable, but we are seeing some severe just in the past two years. Harvey and Florence. So as a weather forecaster you know, you’d love to be able to forecast 30 inches of rain 35 inches or maybe like Harvey 50 to actually see it happen is a little bit surreal. So we’re having these events where maybe they’re not more frequent, maybe they’re not hired category, overseeing more individual events with heavier rainfall, you know, some of that might be associated with the atmosphere being a little bit warmer. But the bottom line is we are messaging is almost a victim of a successful category.

We used to have like four different parameters like 100 years ago for hurricanes. To me, the cat one pressure was one of them, like actual pressure.

Do you even care about the pressure? So we dropped it and now we’re finding, you know, well now we need a category four storm surge and flooding and we know that wind is not most of the fatalities in in an average it’s flooding. So we know all this, but the getting that into the message is clearly not necessarily always working to its best. You’re not going to get everyone in harm’s way to evacuate, but you’re also not doing it to the best of his extent. If someone’s at the grocery store saying, you know what, betty, it’s only a cat two just take it easy. Potentially could be spreading it through the network and social media. You know what? We’re going to stay on this one. And then you ended up having 30 inches of rain and what? I mean, they’re still. They were cresting this past weekend. They’re still dealing with widespread flooding that’s only now slowly receding and the river.

So, imagine in California with a, what we call like an arch storm, a thousand year storm that has happened before. It didn’t necessarily happen in our lifetime, but imagine something like that moving into the population of California with our terrain and didn’t have much terrain in North Carolina last that check not on the coast. You force a big atmospheric river into our California mountains and you’re talking about not a category three hurricane, but you’re talking about rainfall that’s equivalent to what they saw from Harvey and Florence with, which would be a big problem.

Todd:     We’re talking about going into the El Nino year. Right? And in the last couple of El Nino’s, again, they’ve been a big bust, but it’s like, okay, you’re a big storm. And, and uh, it’s like, okay, now as emergency managers, should we start being ready for this El Nino year? Or it going to be another big bust? Or like, how do we as a emergency managers even get our heads around about planning for these things because we put time, money and effort into these and is it something that we should take serious again or how does that work?

Alex:      So it’s an interesting scenario. So yeah, 2015, 16 to this date is the strongest El Nino on record in the ocean when you stick a thermometer, the equator of the ocean that, that winter, it’s never been that warm and never been that massive satellite showed it. So the water part of its working, it’s not translating what we thought used to the atmosphere.

So, we’re not getting the storms and the rain and the frequency or the quantity of. And that year was a bus, like you said, here you have the biggest predicted, biggest El Nino three to five months in advance, broke all records in the ocean. Didn’t translate all the storms, went north. Almost all of them. We have like two storms, uh, two big ones. Almost all of the ones in northern California, Seattle had. It’s when I had one of its wettest years on record, 2015, 16 Seattle instead of the opposite.

So, we missed the forecast. Hey, between friends, uh, what like a thousand miles, so not, not too bad, right. Imagine missing a thousand miles on a hurricane. So we missed the whole weather pattern by a long shot. Um, and what we used to say in, in southern United States like Texas when I lived in that area, and in Florida with hurricane season, the biggest question every year was. And this might be a great example, this year with Florence but the biggest question. Every year it was how many you waiting for the release? Like, okay, here comes the report from Noah. Um, we expect seven named. Oh No, we’re going to get nailed. But then we had years where they all went off shore and they never picked the land. So it got a little frustrating because they had their own problem with that. Like, how do you tell people that this year? Okay, let’s say you knew only one hurricane was coming to make landfall one.

What do you do? So we started kind of messaging every year you prepare for that event. Every year you might have more information, like you might have water temperature information, you might have computer model information, you might have climate information, maybe you just woke up in the morning and had a vision of a hurricane coming, but each you’re going to have different information. But every year if you prepared the same and expected this big event that come into your area, you might actually reduce the impact.

So, in California is probably no different. So we already know our, whether it’s a little bit wacky, we have three years of drought and then all sudden it rains so hard. They set a record in Lake Tahoe with the most snow in 2016, 17. The reservoirs over top, like Oroville started having problems. But we didn’t expect that. Right? We didn’t expect.

We expect that the year before. So we’ve kind of taken. And maybe, I don’t know if this is a page out of emergency management, but we’ve kind of taken the approach that, We may have more information like this year knowing there’s an El Nino coming, but if you hang your hat on that you’re going to either be disappointed or under and if every year you were kind of going into it as the same. Okay, we’re going to get three or four big storms. Maybe one of those will cause problems. Maybe two instead of, okay, we normally get 10 inches of rain. This year we’re going to get 15. What if that rain fell all distributed? What is it felt one day we’re seeing that with a lot of events. Are Those atmospheric rivers? Kind of like with the hurricanes we’ve talked about the rain fall being more extreme. All or nothing.

We had an event in San Diego two years ago for about five inches of rain fell in in an otherwise pretty quiet ear and the river the San Diego River reached its second highest flood stage and 120 years. So we’re seeing these types of events that are more extreme and they’re not necessarily less predictable because you’re not going to predict the weather beyond two weeks. It doesn’t matter who you are, doesn’t matter who you are, even if you’re online as the super king weather forecast or you know, beyond 10 days, two weeks is at the moment, really stretching it.

So when you’re in prepare mode, like maybe October and your storms come December or maybe November. Your storms come January. You got about two months, right? You really need to be preparing every year like it’s the same. Now there’s, there’s caveats to that because there’s funding and grants and other things get triggered by more, more urgency, but every year really needs to be that type of urgency.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a hurricane back east and the Midwest, the northeastern Boston or the atmospheric river out here, or maybe in the Santa Ana wind event. It maybe, maybe rain is not our challenge because we know every year we’re going to get storms over here and we’re going to get Santa Ana’s, but did we go into the year really thinking, okay, this year we’re probably not going to get that big one and then look, Florence comes along and this year was not expected to be a very active hurricane season and it hasn’t been, but it just takes one.

Todd:     It takes one that stalls over your house.

Alex:      When it comes to preparedness. It takes one have you not into preparedness and your and you just want to like count numbers or let’s say you’re into a which is a really hard job, Water supply. Then you’re really not focused on the. I don’t care if it’s one storm. I actually I need to know like volume. It becomes a different game for water supply, but when it comes to impact, it’s just one storm. Whether typically whether it be a firestorm or windstorm, rainstorm or like Florence is a great example. If we don’t have another major hurricane, you know the hits the coast. Even our best computer models cannot identify the genesis of hurricane really beyond 10 days. Same with the Nor’easter, same with a California storm,

Todd:     You know, the nor’easter are kind of fun as a kid, you know, you’re like, Yay, no school, but uh, you, we did the same thing. It was like, well we knew as a family when you know the nor’easter coming, you go and it makes sure that your supplies are good to go because you could be socks into your asked for like a week before you get out and get new milk or whatever, you know. And, and my dad always had, we always had dry powdered milk in our house. I don’t know why, but I just was so disgusting. But that was like really important for him because you know, as a, for him best be prepared as being ready for the big storm and at least we could have milk on our cereal when, whatever, whatever. And it’s funny because coming from that culture of knowing that we’re going to get store, we’re going to be ready. You might be socked into our house for a bit, but we’re still going to be prepared for that, for that storm.

I never thought of storms, nor’easters it’s been a disaster until they start working in emergency management going, holy crap, this is like a really big deal. It’s not fun. You know, sometimes you see the same thing with the hurricanes, you know, people like, oh, okay, we’re going to have a hurricane party. The hurricane in New Orleans never closed for hurricane people go there and get drunk and do whatever, you know, if we think sometimes storms as, and when I say we, the population as a, as a, um, something that’s fun, you know, not, not necessarily scary. And I’m sure the people that in the Midwest and in the, um, they get the tornado is going through. I know they don’t think storms are never fun, but you know, that’s kind of a weird situation. And we have the same problem here in California when we have like these big rainstorms, we’re kicking people off the beaches and saying, hey, these waves are going to kill you. You know, don’t go into the water, don’t kayak down the river. I mean, it’s kind of a weird thing. How do we really kind of get the culture to understand the culture, how we, how do we get the population to understand the culture of preparedness with storms?

Alex:      When you were talking about the snowstorm example every year my mom made sure we had candles. Yeah, there was no discussion and part of it was because forecast the weather probably more than two days at best, but there was very little, almost no discussion.

Like, oh, this is a bad winter coming up. It’s El Nino get more candles. Candles as part of the routine. Get Two snow tires on cars on is not going to snow this year. How in the word do you know that? You know, and you don’t even know that today for the upcoming winter. So we just did it. We just prepared now out west, you know, we have, we have a different story and different, different, different type of flavor of whether lower probability but high impact. Oh West. I think, you know, we could take some lessons from the Midwest and the east and, and maybe even my example of me like playing out in a thunderstorm and my mom walking me up and said, nope, nope, nope. You can go watch the water flood from a distance after the lightning stop is if we take the approach that it’s not just us that’s affected is the first responders, because nowadays we’re definitely expecting to be rescued, to be saved, to be sheltered, to be protected and if we’re not or blaming someone and maybe back in the days of the nor’easter back in the seventies or something or sixties, we weren’t so quick to blame someone else for like Darn it mom, Why didn’t you get candles? Well, you told me there weren’t many storms this year. There was none of that because you bought the candle or the flashlight, you know, we literally had candles. I thought that was pretty exciting. I remember like, Oh, come on storm, pick it up, you know, knocked the power out type of thing. Because I’m thinking short term, you know, but if. But if you’re out there, I’m choosing to not evacuate or just plain deciding for yourself. Yeah, it’s not that bad. I don’t know what they’re talking about. The fires, the fires way up the road. It’s not gonna affect me. You’re, you’re really jeopardizing lots of resources. Lots of lives of first responders which are trained and they will go get you. But um, it just, it freaks me out in this story where, um, there was flooding, but I think there was a tornado, there was flooding was out in Missouri a few years ago.

First responders were attending someone, and they get struck by lightning. So here where you were worried about the tornado, we were flooding but we weren’t worried about lightning. But let’s say we were worried about lightning. They’re still having to respond. And so the fires are like that. In California, it’s like you can’t just sit back and say, well, the wind is going to die off in a couple of days. Let’s just let the thing go. But at the same time we’re expecting, you know, that someone else has got to take care of it. And that’s not always going to be the case. And when we start putting first responders, others in harm’s way, it’s complete opposite thinking too, Okay, this year it Santa Ana season, let’s get the defensible space or let’s get the plan B of where we’re evacuating. And if you wait until even knowing it’s coming for a week, if I wait,

I remember when they had the fires in 2014 in San Diego. It’s kind of scary and confusing. Roads start closing. You can’t predict that day before certain roads closed. The fire goes this way. It becomes pretty chaotic. And if you’re cut off from your family, worst feeling because then you’re, then you’re really not going to think that straight. You’re going to be kind of in panic mode and not all of it. But some of this could be avoided by being a little more prepared.

Todd:     It’s true. That is true. Well, Alex, we’re coming here to the uh, to the end of the interview. So if somebody wanted to get a hold of you or learn more about what’s going on with the weather, how could they find out?

Alex:      So I am publicly available, so a national weather service, San Diego is the office I’m at and there should be information if you just google it, Alex Tardy National Weather Service and you should be able to get my contact information like email.

Todd:     Sure. And again for those of you are driving or don’t have a sharp pencil, we will make sure that this information is on the show notes. You can find that on www.emweekly.com or of course whatever listening program they listen to. It will be in the show notes there as well. So don’t Fret if you want to get that information.

So Alex, here we come to the hardest question of the day. What Book, Books or publication do you recommend to somebody in the emergency management field?

Alex:      So you think you’d might be a Shark-Nedo or maybe like some? Some really weather savvy, The northeast, 1977. The blizzard of 93.

There’s a leadership book called “Leading Change”. I think it was John Kotter leading changes, the name and I went into it thinking I kind of was forced to read it and I went into it thinking like, oh gosh, another lecture or like something that cannot even apply and it was completely opposite. I mean it gave examples where I did I could relate to in my work, my, my job as a meteorologist and my family and it was just eye-opening and couldn’t put it down. It’s called “Leading Change”. Um, it doesn’t necessarily give you all the solutions to make everyone leaders, but it surely helps explain, you know, about being persistent and keep trying, keep giving the effort and recognizing that not everyone’s going to do it and sometimes you have to step up and do it.

Todd:     Leading change. I like the title of that by the way. That’s cool. So before I let you go, is there anything you’d like to say to the emergency manager out there?

Alex:      To all the emergency managers, Not just in San Diego, Southern California, but nationwide. Probably worldwide. I don’t have a lot of contacts in Mexico, but I know they do have emergency management there. We really appreciate. We know that you have a list and your top 10 list depending on where you are, may include several types of weather, but we also know that that top 10 list may include many other things completely unrelated, so we really appreciate the support from emergency management, trying to understand the science, the messaging, and using that information to help make decisions and that you’re willing to stick with us because you know, we’ll be wrong once in a while.

Todd:     Well, Alex, thank you so much for spending time here and in weekly and it’s a pleasure seeing you again and, uh, like to have you on again sometime.

Alex:      Thanks for having me on.

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2 thoughts on “EP 86 The Amazing Secrets of a Weatherman”

  1. This is a great podcast and is pertinent to those of us in California. In certain areas, there may not be the routine unpredictability of New England winter storms, however, this state is basically the span of New Jersey to Florida but on the opposite coast. There is so much land area and difference in climate within this state. We also have major landforms like the mountains superimposed on the desert that create some very dynamic weather like the Foehn winds (Santa Anas/Diablos) later in the year. This has a major impact on weather, especially for catastrophic events.

  2. This is a great podcast and is pertinent to those of us in California. In certain areas, there may not be the routine unpredictability of New England winter storms, however, this state is basically the span of New Jersey to Florida but on the opposite coast. There is so much land area and difference in climate within this state. We also have major landforms like the mountains superimposed on the desert that create some very dynamic weather like the Foehn winds (Santa Anas/Diablos) later in the year. This has a major impact on weather, especially for catastrophic events.

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