WeatherBrains 606: Unshaven in my Gym Shorts

| August 29, 2017 @ 8:50 am

WeatherBrains Episode 606 is now online (August 28, 2017). If you are crazy about weather, this is THE netcast audio program for you!

Our Guest WeatherBrain for this episode is Bill Read, former director of the National Hurricane Center who is making a special appearance from Houston. Bill is a veteran on WeatherBrains having been with us for episode 195, episode 428 from the National Tropical Conference (2014), and episode 386.

In spite of over 40 years living on the Gulf or Florida coasts, the strongest winds he personally experienced was 1954’s Hurricane Hazel as it passed through Delaware, where he grew up. Hazel and the big Nor’easters that happen on the east coast spurred Bill to pursue an education in the science of weather. After earning a BS in Meteorology from Texas A&M in 1971, Bill served in the U.S. Navy, where once again he came face to face with hurricanes – flying into the storms with the Navy Hurricane Hunters out of Jacksonville, Fla. After four years in the Navy, Bill attended graduate school, earning the MS in Meteorology at A&M in 1976.

Bill Read, former NHC Director, then pursued a 35-year career with the National Weather Service, starting out forecasting weather in San Antonio and Fort Worth before making the leap into management. Bill’s longest tenure was in the Houston area, where he was in charge of the National Weather Service Forecast Office located in League City for over 15 years. In addition to the tornadoes, floods, and tropical storms, we saw a lot of changes during that 15 year period, from Doppler radar to the Internet. In 2007, he was given the awesome opportunity to serve at the National Hurricane Center in Miami and became director of the center in January, 2008, retiring there in June 2012.

While he worked over 130 tropical storms during his NWS career, Bill says a few will always stand out as most memorable. Folks in Houston relate to Allison, Rita, and Ike. Bill adds Katrina, when he was assigned to the Hurricane Center to assist in the warning process; Allen (1980), Claudette (1979), and Amelia (1978). While at the National Hurricane Center, he had the opportunity to personally brief President George W. Bush during Hurricanes Gustav and Ike, and President Barack Obama during Hurricane Irene.

Bill serves on the Texas A&M College of Geosciences Dean’s Advisory Council and as a Leadership Partner with the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes (FLASH). He is also involved with professional societies, having served as president of the National Weather Association in 2003 and as councilor with the American Meteorological Society. He was elected fellow by the Society in 2011. Among the many awards he has received, a Special Award for Public Education from the National Hurricane Conference fits Bill’s passion the best.

Bill has been married to his wife, Donna, since 1976 and they have a son, Jonathan, who also calls the Houston area home.

Other discussions in this weekly podcast include topics like:

  • Extremes: 122 at Death Valley, CA, and 30 at Stanley, ID
  • Just about all eyes in weather are on Harvey
  • Harvey a Cat 4 at landfall besides dumping upwards of 35 inches of rain on Southeast Texas
  • No Astronomy Outlook from Tony Rice
  • and more!

Our email bag officer is continuing to handle the incoming messages from our listeners.

From The Weather Center:

WeatherBrains 101: In our last 101 episode, we talked about factors involved in bringing about the beautiful colors of Fall. So we’ll follow up on that with a looks at where the best colors are found. The US Forest Service even has a hot line number with Fall color information: 1-800-354-4595.

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 606:

Harris County Flood Control District

NWS Houston

Picks of the Week:

Kim Klockow – Ways to help people in Harvey

Bill Murray – Live U-stream video from Houston

Brian Peters – Eclipse 2017 chase by John Huntington

Kevin Selle – Article about Accu-Weather access to location

Rick Smith – Photo gallery of Harvey

James Spann – Article about AI replacing TV mets

Aubrey Urbanowicz – Compilation of storms in Alberta

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

Category: ALL POSTS, WeatherBrains

About the Author ()

Brian Peters is one of the television meteorologists at ABC3340 in Birmingham and a retired NWS Warning Coordination Meteorologist. He handles the weekend Weather Xtreme Videos and forecast discussion and is the Webmaster for the popular WeatherBrains podcast.

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