22 October 2018

The Coming Storm by Michael Lewis is a Must Listen

Posted by Dan Satterfield

You really need to listen to The Coming Storm. This Audible short is about big data, deadly storms, and egregious greed, and I’d give it 5 stars even if I were not quoted in it. (The quote is accurate by the way and I stand by it 100%.) 

My friend Tim Schmidt (my go-to expert on satellite data) is also quoted and he (and many of my NOAA friends) are given long overdue recognition by Lewis. Others, including Accuweather CEO Barry Myers, and those who run it, are not likely to be as satisfied by what they hear. Indeed, much of the criticism leveled in this book seems deserved and the issues around weather warnings in Oklahoma City are well known to meteorologists who work in TV and in the NWS.

Frankly, it’s still surprising to me how few AMS certified/degreed meteorologists are working on air in the most severe weather prone area in America. There are far more qualified mets on air in Boston, Denver, or Seattle. Then again, this is Oklahoma and you have Norman, where virtually everyone accepts that humans are warming the planet and the rest of the state who voted for Jim (it’s all a hoax) Inhofe. (Note: I grew up in Oklahoma and worked at Tulsa and OKC TV stations.)

While there is little in The Coming Storm that any NOAA or broadcast meteorologist does not know about, Lewis has put the facts together in an engaging story for the general public. After you finish it, you will understand how most of the atmospheric science community felt when the head of Accuweather was nominated to run NOAA.

My blog post about Accuweather’s laughable 90-day weather forecasts (Is Roger Rabbit Running Accuweather?) has gotten quite a bit of feedback, but Lewis has convinced me that perhaps it is Wyle. E Coyote and not  Roger Rabbit whose running things. In any event, it seems this story has gotten the attention of others, and at least one who has writing and storytelling abilities far beyond mine.

I’ll update that original post with this: get The Coming Storm from Audible, and if you have not done it yet, stand up for science and delete the Accuweather app off your phone.