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WeatherBrains 302: Old Coots On Guard

| 2:00 am November 8, 2011 | Comments (0)

WeatherBrains Episode 302 is now online (November 7, 2011). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Chris Parker, Marine Weather CenterOur Guest WeatherBrain for this show started out like many of us with a real fascination for weather from early childhood. Chris Parker even began actively forecasting the weather each day starting in 3rd grade at age 8 years old. In high school, he broadcast widely-listened-to forecasts on WBSL, an FM radio station in Western Massachusetts, then studied Meteorology for 2 years at Lyndon State College in Vermont.

As a hanglider pilot, hang gliding helped hone his observational skills and practical knowledge of atmospheric lift/dynamics and micro-meteorology. And he gained much of his weather knowledge on the water. He began boating at age 11 with his dad on a 1960s “Cruise-a-Long” powerboat and bought his first boat, a classic outboard-powered wooden launch, at age 12. Sailing followed shortly thereafter, and he has sailed and/or raced on sailboats ranging from a Sunfish, Laser, Flying Scot, Lightning, and Star to various PHRF and ULDB racing boats.

When he began actively cruising during the winter of 1999-2000, he didn’t think much about weather. Sailing in Miami in the 1990s, he thought nothing of crossing the Gulf Stream to Bimini or Lucaya for the weekend or a week’s vacation. If it was rough, it was only for a day, and it was part of the experience. But in January, 2000, after being caught several times by nasty cold fronts, he figured he had to be able to do a better job predicting weather than the forecasts I’d been relying on. Before long, friends were hailing me on SSB & VHF radios for forecasts. In 2002, I was a speaker on weather at a gathering of 300 Cruisers in Baltimore, MD, the SouthBound Cruisers Reunion, and he has presented more than 30 seminars to various groups since.

In late 2003, Chris was going to start his own weather forecasting service. Then, in November, 2003, David Jones of the Caribbean Weather Center passed away, leaving a vacuum at the Caribbean Weather Center. Chris was Chief Forecaster for the Caribbean Weather Center from January 2004 through December 2010. By early 2005, the Caribbean Weather Center workload grew to such an extent we were forced to move ashore to Lakeland, Florida for better access to fast, reliable Internet and as well as completion of more efficient radio antennas. In late 2010, he started Marine Weather Center, to provide weather forecasting & routing advice mainly to small private yachts.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Coldest in the lower 48 this morning – minus 1 at Butte, MT
  • Warmest late this afternoon 87 in the Lower Rio Grand Valley
  • Coldest in Alaska this morning – minus 15 at Arctic Village
  • Tornado Watch in Central Oklahoma and Northwest Texas
  • Several tornadoes reported in that area
  • Oklahoma recorded strongest earthquake in state’s history couple of days ago
  • and more!
  • Our mail bag has been getting some input, but where is Kevin to summarize all of the various notes?

    From The Weather Center:

    WeatherBrains 101: Our atmosphere is an amazing layer surrounding our planet and protecting us in many ways. So what makes up the air around us? That’s the topic of our 101 segment on this first November show for 2011.

    Listener SurveyListener Surveys: Okay, we continue to drive this topic into the ground, but we really do like to hear from you. Many thanks to everyone who has taken the time to fill out the Listener Survey. The survey takes just a minute or two to complete and provides us with an opportunity to learn where you are and hear your thoughts and comments on the show. Click here to take the survey.

    Web Sites from Episode 302:

    Marine Weather Center

    SkyDaver Blog

    Picks of the Week:

    JB Elliott – Satellite View of the October Snow

    Bill Murray – Joplin 5:14

    Brian Peters – Loves the Sound of that Horn

    Kevin Selle – Flooding from Thailand

    James Spann – Cooperative Institute for Precipitation Systems

    The WeatherBrains crew includes your host, James Spann, plus other notable geeks like JB Elliott, Kevin Selle, Bill Murray, and Brian Peters. They bring together a wealth of weather knowledge and experience for another fascinating netcast about weather.

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    Category: WeatherBrains

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