March 5, 2019
March is National Weather Podcast Month
Posted by Laura Guertin
I shared in a blog post last month that podcast listening is increasing across all age groups, and I hope as these audiences grow, they find the time to explore some new podcasts in categories they never previously considered. The month of March seems to be the perfect time to give a shout-out to those sharing stories of weather, and our nationwide celebration of National Weather Podcast Month!
According to the website (http://weatherpodcastmonth.com/), “National Weather Podcast Month is an annual program put on by the producers of the major weather podcasts to raise awareness of the entertainment and educational value of the various partner shows. Held in March each year, the producers highlight important guests and issues during the month and cross-promote each other as well.”
It’s National Weather Podcast Month #NWPM
Take the #WxPodcastChallenge and catch an episode of all 6 podcasts! @WeatherHype @stormfrontfreak @weatherbrains @CarolinaWxGroup @WeatherPodcast @IceStationPod pic.twitter.com/LghSWiH5Dl
— WeatherPodcastMonth (@wxpodcastmonth) March 1, 2019
Note there is a challenge in the tweet above – we are challenged to listen to at least one episode of six different weather podcasts:
- Weather Hype – http://hyperurl.co/weatherhype
- Storm Front Freaks – https://stormfrontfreaks.com/
- Weather Brains – http://weatherbrains.com/
- Carolina Weather Group – https://www.carolinaweathergroup.com/
- B Squared Weather Podcast – https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/b-squared-weather-podcast/id1407074440?mt=2
- Ice Station Housman – http://www.icestationhousman.com/
But also note these six are not the only weather podcasts out there!
Who knew this was even a thing…#NationalWeatherPodcastMonth..not me. 1 more reason to join us on @WeatherGeeks Podcast..find us on iTunes, @WeLoveWeather website, Sticher and other outlets. New episodes every Wednesday. The same info/guests from the TV show, 3 times the time
— Marshall Shepherd (@DrShepherd2013) March 5, 2019
I’ll be taking the challenge myself and will post in the comments section below my thoughts about each of the six podcast series that are listed as part of the #WxPodcastChallenge. Will you join me? Do you have any other weather-themed podcasts to suggest? How can you use weather-themed podcasts in your classroom? (I’m thinking this would be a great listening activity/assignment for our next snow day when campus is closed….)
Maybe you want to start your own weather-themed podcast? Take a listen to the existing ones, and see my post from earlier this year on Starting a podcast? This might be the year.
Great article Laura! Thanks for trumpeting the goal of National Weather Podcast Month by teaching more people about the value of podcasts in general. This month is a way for the independent weather podcasts to promote each other and let more people become aware of the options. Though we would love to include all weather podcasts in our promotion, sadly most commercial ones aren’t excited about promoting others.
Good luck on the #WxPodcastChallenge!
I started the #WxPodcastChallenge by listening to Episode #69 of Storm Front Freaks, which featured an interview with Joe Moravsky (since I’m from Connecticut and a fan of America Ninja Warrior, it was an obvious choice!). This bi-weekly show runs about an hour in length, where you can view the live/raw recording in a Google Hangout, or wait for the edited version of the video and audio to come out. There were three hosts on this one, with a great conversational tone that was lively and relaxed at the same time. The sounds effects also added to the fun! After the interview with Joe, they placed a “Game Show of Flashy Questions”, then ended with a quick review of Wx Resources and Funny Weather Memes (all can be found in the episode website). Joe, when you are ready to start teaching, look up Plainville High School (my alma mater) in Plainville, CT – you would be great there! Here’s the website for the episode (and although I do encourage everyone to use these podcasts with their students, for this one, you may want to listen to it first before having young kids/adults listen…): https://stormfrontfreaks.com/2018/12/29/episode-69-joe-moravsky/
I continued on with the #WxPodcastChallenge by listening to the most recent episode (Episode #55) from WeatherHype. Although not quite published on their schedule of every other Tuesday (16 podcasts published in 2018, 2 so far in 2019), the episodes are two friends engaged in a one-hour conversation on – what else, “weather, climate, and how it affects you.” This particular episode is titled “Haters Gonna Hate: Defending Meteorology and Forecasting.” The conversation was well laid out and easily moved from why specific weather information is not possible, how ugly names/blame against meteorologists is not fair, and how meteorologists cannot tolerate being called a liar (there is no intention in providing a false forecast). I also liked the bit about the reaction by the public when meteorologists cut into television programming with warnings. There were a few scattered comments read by other meteorologists, sharing some of the negative feedback they get (many coming from social media), and how they are fighting back – for example, educating people on chaos theory and the lack of computing power challenging forecasts for the future. This education piece by meteorologists is being received positively by the public, so perhaps knowledge is power? The podcast ended with each host sharing their “Song of the Week” (which I would tell students to stop listening before this – although I appreciate how this part humanizes scientists, for me, it detours too far from the topic of the podcast). Check out their website for this episode and others: http://www.weatherhypepodcast.com/episode-55.html
My next exploration with the #WxPodcastChallenge was with WeatherBrains, who posted episode #687(!) on March 18, 2019 ( https://weatherbrains.com/?p=7678 ). This weekly 90-minute production is all about weather, delivered via audio and video (live Google Hangout and YouTube). This particular episode is titled Are You Sure You Want To See My Face That Close? with guest “Weather Brains” (geographers) who study the intersections of physical science and social science as it relates to tornadoes and all meteorological hazards. There was a panel that included a firefighter-turned-weather blogger and the coordinator of the student-led 2019 Southeast Severe Storms Symposium, along with many moderators of the podcast. The information shared by Drs. Strader and Ashley on tornadoes and mobile homes was fascinating, from land use to decisions and awareness by individuals living in vulnerable housing (and we learned that snowball microphones are not always the best to use for these sessions!). The session wrapped up with some picks of the week (linked on the website), from the flooding in Nebraska to a “pollen blizzard.” Feel free to search through their archives, as there is sure to be a topic of interest! (just note that the title does not match the content covered – for example, this episode’s title came from Dr. Ashley during the episode, as he had to move closer to his computer microphone/screen for the microphone to pick up his audio, and he commented, “are you sure you want to see my face that close?” – http://weatherbrains.com/
I continued my #WxPodcastChallenge with the Carolina Weather Group, “a weekly Web show that covers weather, science, technology and more for the Piedmont regions of North Carolina and South Carolina. The show’s hosts interview newsmaking experts in meteorology and other fields of atmospheric science.” It takes place via YouTube Live at 8PM on Wednesdays, and the hour-long audio/video recordings are archived for later listening/viewing. The March 13th episode is titled “No pigeon racing during solar storms” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhkPc7SmEFg and featured an interview with Rob Steenburgh of NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center in Colorado. Hearing Rob’s professional history and his work with space weather was really informative, as well as the future directions of the Center’s work. Unlike some of the other Wx podcasts, this one had only one guest and then a region-specific news section (which fits the mission of the podcast), and was able to switch their screens to show video segments and pre-recorded news stories throughout the session. The recap of the recent tornado images and broadcasts were a powerful way to end the episode. I appreciate how much educational material was packed into this podcast! https://www.carolinaweathergroup.com/the-show
Laura, thanks so much for giving us (Carolina Weather Group) a listen. We certainly appreciate the kind words. Sometime I feel our name kinda hinders our goal. We reach far from the Carolinas, but six years ago when we started it was centered around the Carolinas. We appreciate you sharing the word about us and Nationals Weather Podcast Month! As always we are always open to suggestions (topics, guests, etc.) take care!
This evening I tuned in to a recorded episode from Ice Station Housman as I moved forward with my #WxPodcastChallenge. This podcast series is “all about the weather – what causes it, what effect it has on us puny humans, and what we can do to improve the weather and/or our reaction to it.” The podcast is produced by two weather enthusiasts and a meteorologist on a sporadic basis (there was a break from December 2017 to March 2018, then again no postings March to December 2018) and the recent episodes have been one hour in length. I selected Episode 30, “You’re Cold As Ice”, to listen to. http://www.icestationhousman.com/episodes/2019/2/5/episode-0030-youre-cold-as-ice As I only listened to one episode from this series, I don’t know if what I heard is the typical format or tempo for every edition. The pace was slow and steady, and the moderators were calm (compared to the dynamic producers from the other series I’ve listened to this month). There were no guests interviewed as a part of this recording. At first, I couldn’t figure out where the podcast was going with its content, but then I was able to catch on to the progression through time of historic cold snaps. The information shared is linked in the show notes, and there doesn’t appear to be a video/livestream of the episodes. http://www.icestationhousman.com/
I made it to the 6th and final podcast as part of the #WxPodcastChallenge – the B Squared Weather Podcast, where “each week Bonnie from Oklahoma and Bobby from Oregon talk about the weather stories across the United States. We talk about climates of Oklahoma and Oregon and how they create the challenging forecasts for the plains and pacific northwest.” This weekly audio-only podcast series has been in production since July 2018 with episodes that average between 15-30 minutes in length. I listened to the most recent episode (38) that discussed flooding in the Midwest, and what to do/not to do when a tornado and flooding come your way. Bonnie and Bobby are clearly passionate podcasters that were delivering an urgency with their message to people to pay attention to weather alerts and warnings. You can find them in iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/b-squared-weather-podcast/id1407074440?mt=2