Thursday, July 17, 2014

We Have It, Let's Not Screw This Up

We have it, Let’s Not Screw This Up......

“Other discipline experts” go on National TV Morning shows calling the Polar Vortex a “tornado of cold air." People talk nonsense topics like Chemtrails and Unicorns. Certain outlets hype "derecho" or "mesocyclone" as if they are new terms. They are not.

The weather community often laments that our field is misrepresented or not represented at all in the national TV discourse. This is particularly of concern as serious contemporary issues face our community (e.g., social media weather hype, storm chasing merits, looming satellite gaps, the Weather Forecast Improvement Act, views on climate change, weather safety at professional sporting events, and so on....)

Well, now we don’t have to complain about no invitation to the Sunday morning talk circuit because the community has its own show, Weather Geeks. Weather Geeks (@WxGeeksTWC on Twitter) will debut Sunday July 20th at Noon eastern on The Weather Channel (  It is a nationally televised weather talk show and is committed to the weather community being active participants with topic ideas, suggestions, guest appearances and feedback. Even organizations that may view themselves as competitors to The Weather Channel are welcome to participate in all aspects of the show. 

It is a forum, a resource, a tool. It is not about ratings or "one-upmanship", it is about discussion, information sharing, and scratching our “weather” geek itch.

Of course, there are well-respected forums like AMS, NOAA, NWA, WeatherBrains, The Capital Weather Gang, private industry partners, and others that I turn to for information and will continue to do so. I suppose it is human nature to beeline to compare/contrast but I just don’t look at the world from such a binary lens. WxGeeks is a new complementary tool with a national reach and a prime slot in the Sunday Talk Show soup.

Our first show (July 20th) represents exactly what I hoped it would be when I hesitantly and skeptically said yes to being the Expert Host. We will address the Pros/Cons of Storm Chasing with legendary scientist and chaser, Dr. Chuck Doswell.  And yes, Chuck is Chuck and not filtered nor am I.  In our “Hail No!” feature, we also dive into the scientific literature to “discuss” a new paper suggesting a series of walls to prevent tornadoes. You bet Dr. Doswell and yours truly have some interesting thoughts on this one ☺.  The show also gives us an opportunity to recognize a private sector, academic, or government meteorologist or stakeholder doing great things. This is our “Geek of the Week” feature. We welcome your nominees.

Our 2nd episode (July 27th) will explore the weather, social media, and hype from many different perspectives. Capital Weather Gang’s Jason Samenow will join us.

In summary, we have a forum to get "weather topics" right in the national TV medium. We will learn and evolve the show, but hopefully you will give it a chance because it is not about past perspectives or mistakes, it is about the present and future. This is a real opportunity for our community.

I can talk weather anytime and if you follow me at @DrShepherd2013, you know this. What a “kid-in-a-candy-store” moment to talk contemporary weather with colleagues every week.

Let’s Geek Out…….