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Ice Station Housman

Ice Station Housman is a show 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. Hosted by weather enthusiasts, Jimmy Marks and Joel Housman and ACTUAL METEOROLOGIST Becky DePodwin.
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Jul 18, 2017

On this week's episode, our dynamic trio cover a number of topics including NASA's Juno probe flyby of Jupiter, recent flash flooding, weather twitter, a rogue ice berg, and the upcoming solar eclipse.

Music: This week's outro music was "I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet" by Carol King.

Sponsors:  This week's episode is sponsored by Audible. You can get a free audiobook download and a 30 day free trial at audibletrial.com/icestationhousman. With over 180,000 titles to choose from, you wont have difficulty in finding something you'll enjoy. Thanks for your support.

 

Show Notes!

LARSON ICE SHELF BREAK OFF

One of the biggest icebergs in recorded history just broke loose from Antarctica

FLASH FLOODING IN ARIZONA

Arizona flash flood sweeps away family relaxing in swimming hole, killing 9

JUNO'S GREAT RED SPOT PICTURES

Juno’s Great Red Spot pics are amazing! Here are some fun facts about Jupiter’s giant storm.

UPCOMING TOTAL SOLAR ECLIPSE ON AUGUST 21ST, 2017

Map of totality path. 

Apr 7, 2017

This week on the show we discuss proposed budget cuts by the Trump Administration to the weather related government programs.

 

Show Notes!

 

Weather Service Employees ‘Shocked’ by Reported Budget Cuts

Quote from above article:

“It’s not a well-thought-through idea, in my opinion,” said Daniel Sobien, president of the National Weather Service Employees Organization. Though he speaks only for the relatively large weather service staff, the cuts discussed in the White House-to-agency “pass-back” documents will affect all of NOAA—“the people who make sure employees get paid, do the hiring and the paperwork, plus the satellite program, which has a direct link to weather forecasting,” he said. NWS is highly dependent on the rest of NOAA, he said.

NOAA overall is reportedly slated for a 17 percent cut, but NWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service would take a hit of just 5 percent. But that is still “hugely devastating,” Sobien said. That’s because the lack of say for managers in reshuffling discretionary spending means that “the only thing they can do is lay people off, so it’s just as bad as a 17 percent cut,” he said.”

 

Trump's Plan to Slash NOAA Budget Puts Lives, Climate Research at Risk, Scientists Say

Quote from above article:

“The National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service, which monitors weather and collects climate data, would see the largest budget cut – $513 million, or 22 percent of its funding.

Former NOAA employees say the move would put the American public in danger.

Jane Lubchenco, NOAA administrator under President Barack Obama, told weather.com the "draconian cuts" to the agency that oversees weather forecasting and funds weather and climate research would "be devastating to the economy, jobs and to the safety and livelihoods of Americans in every state."

Many of the cuts are directly relevant to NOAA’s ability to provide timely and accurate weather forecasts and warnings, now and in the future, Lubchenco said. She called the cuts to the satellite program, NWS and research program particularly worrisome, noting 90 percent of weather forecasting data comes from satellites.”

 

Notes from Katie

NOAA

$990 mil cut from budget

$83 mil for ship to do ocean surveys

$400 mil cut from Polar Follow-On: satellites schedules to launch in 2024/26 for forecasting

$100 mil cut from satellite services which could impact climate data collection

26% cut to recharting the coastlines

From the Washington Post: The programs in the crosshairs include NOAA’s Coastal Zone Management grants and Regional Coastal Resilience grants, which come to $75 million combined, according to the document; its $10 million in Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grants; the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, an annual investment of about $23 million; and its $73 million Sea Grant program.

Regional Coastal Resilience grants, which deal more specifically with bracing communities for adverse climate and weather events. These programs “build resilience of coastal communities to the negative impacts from extreme weather events, climate hazards, and changing ocean conditions,” according to a recent NOAA presentation.

the Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants, which are more focused on restoring ecosystems so they can adjust to changing conditions in a way that also benefits humans. Wetlands, when healthy, can help keep pace with sea-level rise.

Also proposed for the chopping block are several research and education initiatives that provide valuable information to help coastal communities plan for the future. The National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a group of 29 sites throughout the coastal United States — including spots along the East and West coasts, the Gulf Coast, the Great Lakes, Hawaii and Alaska — that have been set aside specifically for the study of estuarine systems, or the areas where rivers flow into the sea. The program produces scientific data on these unique ecosystems and provides training and education for local communities and policymakers on protecting and managing them.

Of similar importance is the Sea Grant program, a partnership between NOAA and universities across the nation, which supports coastal research and education. The program relies on on-the-ground agents, who help establish a “real connection” between academics and coastal communities, said Jeff Carney, an architecture professor and director of the Coastal Sustainability Studio at Louisiana State University, which houses the Louisiana Sea Grant program. These programs can be vital sources of information on everything from fisheries management to storm preparation.

EPA

$330 mil cut from Superfund Cleanups. 30% reduction

$129 mil cut from EPA enforcement to catch polluters.  33% reduction

$233 mil cut from EPA research that establishes federal health and safety guidelines 50% reduction

$482 mil cut from EPA assistance grants that go to state and tribal to clean up pesticides and toxic wastes.   40% reduction

$347 mil cut from 50 EPA programs like Energy Star and diesel engine replacement meant to reduce emissions.

From Washington Post:

proposal by the White House would slash the EPA’s budget by 31 percent — nearly one third — from its current level of $8.1 billion to $5.7 billion. It would cut 3,200 positions, or more than 20 percent of the agency’s current workforce of about 15,000.

would discontinue funding for the Clean Power Plan — the signature Obama administration effort to combat climate change by regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. It would sharply reduce money for the Superfund program and cut the budget for the EPA’s prominent Office of Research and Development roughly in half, to $250 million.

It also would eliminate “more than 50 EPA programs.” Among them: the Energy Star program, which aims to improve energy efficiency and save consumers money; infrastructure assistance to Alaska Native villages and the Mexico border; a grant program that helps cities and states combat air pollution; and an office that focuses on environmental justice issues.

Article from Scientific American: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/trump-budget-cuts-funds-for-epa-by-31-percent/

Some programs at EPA would see increases. The blueprint would shift $4 million above current spending levels to state revolving funds and $20 million to the Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act program. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt had said he wanted to protect those funds.

The State Department, which saw perhaps the largest cut behind EPA, is shouldering much of Trump's emphasis on nationalism. The president is fulfilling his promises to depress U.S. activity abroad by eliminating the Global Climate Change Initiative. The budget also zeros out funding for the Green Climate Fund and the Climate Investment Funds.

The White House would eliminate the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), as well as loan guarantee programs, greenhouse gas reducing technologies and advanced vehicle programs.

The Office of Science would see a $900 million cut and is meant, according to the proposal, to focus on "basic science and energy research and development."

The budget also would include $140 million to restart licensing activities for nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain, a thorny issue on Capitol Hill.

 

Chesapeake Bay

$73 mil to $0 Chesapeake Bay

Chesapeake Bay Program: Regional partnership that directs and conducts the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay in the United States. As a partnership, the Chesapeake Bay Program brings together members of various state, federal, academic and local watershed organizations to build and adopt policies that support Chesapeake Bay restoration. By combining the resources and unique strengths of each individual organization, the Chesapeake Bay Program is able to follow a unified plan for restoration.

Became part of the EPA in 1983

50+ partnerships involved

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is a non-profit organization devoted to the restoration and protection of the Chesapeake Bay in the United States. It was founded in 1967 and has headquarters offices in Annapolis, Maryland.

Budget cut worries:

Most of the Chesapeake Bay Program’s federal money goes to states, local governments and community groups through grants. The foundation focuses on coordinating and monitoring the efforts of the six bay watershed states and the District of Columbia. Besides Virginia, these states include Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.

From Capital Gazette (Maryland Newspaper) a closer look at proposed cuts for other federal departments and agencies that collaborate in the bay restoration effort makes clear that the impact on the bay would go well beyond this single onerous and inexplicable decision. As The Capital has noted, the impact will trickle down to bay cleanup efforts at the state and county levels, too.

Great Lakes

$330 mil to $0 GLRI

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative was launched in 2010 to accelerate efforts to protect and restore the largest system of fresh surface water in the world — the Great Lakes

The program, primarily administered through the EPA, has traditionally enjoyed strong bipartisan support and has standalone authorization at that funding level through 2021, meaning Congress can restore some or all funding.

Mar 7, 2017

Our first episode where all three co-hosts are in the same studio for recording! On this week's episode we discuss how the GOES-16 weather satellite is progressing, the recent severe weather outbreak in the mid-west, a check-in on the rainfall and drought in California, the weird winter we've been having, and we cover our main topic of ocean currents and how they affect the weather.

 

Show Notes!

GOES-16

MID-WEST SEVERE OUTBREAK

RAINFALL / DROUGHT CHECK-IN IN CALIFORNIA

WEIRD WINTER / LACK OF SNOW IN CHICAGO

Main Topic: Ocean Current and how they affect the weather

Jan 23, 2017

On this week's episode, Becky, Jimmy, and Joel welcome guest Steve Travis, a meteorologist for Accuweather on the show to talk about the recent storms that have impacted the west coast, and lightened California's drought conditions. Steve also talks about what his typical day is like as a weather forecaster vs. what people perceive he does.

 

 

Show Notes!

Jan 4, 2017

On this week's show Jimmy, Becky, and Joel take a walk down the memory lane of significant weather events in 2016, of which Snowzilla is the most memorable. It was also a year full of flood events, both tropical and non-tropical in nature. We take a look ahead to 2017 and how La Nina might shape the weather in the coming year. 

 

Show Notes!

Topic: The weather of 2016-year in review + La Nina

Our predictions for 2017:

  1. Jimmy says its the year of fog
  2. Becky is skeptical and wants data

Winter 2016-2017 season snowfall predictions for nearest reporting station: 

  • Joel says Dulles 42”
  • Jimmy says Dulles 36”
  • Becky says Penn State 38”

Princess Leia' Life Day Song from the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Debbie Reynolds sings "Good Mornin'" in Singing In The Rain

Dec 1, 2016

On this week's show Jimmy, Becky, and Joel welcome back Katie Wheatley as well as a new guest, Ian Livingston to recap the 2016 Tornado season. We talk about how El Nino affected tornadoes in the US this year, how this year compares to previous years, and what the biggest outbreaks were.  We also have brief follow-up on coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef as well as news that GOES-R is now GOES-16.

 

Show Notes!

Follow-up: 

Topic: The 2016 Tornado Season

Oct 13, 2016

On this week's show, our intrepid trio discuss the recent Hurricane Matthew. We review how the storm was forecasted, the impact it made on Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the United States. 

Show Notes!

Topic: The aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Gifs we mentioned in the show:

Forecast Track

Radar Loop

Popular Science: Hurricane Matthew Was Deceptively Powerful

Impact on Haiti:


Impact on the United States:


Impact on Nova Scotia, Canada:

 

This week's outro music is "Hurricane" by Bob Dylan WHO JUST WON THE 2016 NOBEL PRIZE FOR LITERATURE! Congrats Bob. We know you love our show.

Sep 30, 2016

On this episode, we begin a deep-dive on some of the most devastating hurricanes (officially-named storms only) of the last century. From Camille in '69 to Sandy in '12 (that's a weird way to write that), we look at the impacts these storms had on human life, our economy, governance, emergency response, and the culture. This one's less goofy than other one's we've done, but there's some damn-fine analysis and Wikipedia reading going on. Also, Becky explains why these storms behaved the way they did, and since she knows what she's talking about, you'll probably learn a lot!

SHOW NOTES!

Small topics, News, & Follow-up:

Astrological vs Meteorological Seasons

  • Joel thinks Astrological seasons are stupid and we should all just agree to follow Meteorological seasons.
  • Jimmy thinks Joel is anti-galaxy. 

Heavy Rain Event in D.C. Region Wednesday - Friday

  • DC Metro area, and parts of the east coast are in a rain deficit over the last couple of months.
  • This event has the potential to make up a lot of that rain shortfall
  • Potential flooding if the event verifies on the larger side of what the models are estimating

Tropical Storm Matthew

  • The track of the storm has a lot of potential for strengthening.
  • Should continue west until this weekend and then make a turn to the north.
  • Question is: Will it turn sooner, and hit Haiti, or will it turn later, miss Jamaica and hit Cuba (and then Florida later on)

Main Topic: Most “Impactful” Hurricanes in modern history

Hurricane Camille

Hurricane Hugo

Hurricane Raymond

Hurricane Hazel

Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Isabel

Hurricane Ivan 

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Wilma

Hurricane Sandy

“The Semi-Hospitable Beach House and You” by Jimmy Marks

Closing music: "Hurricane" from the musical Hamilton

Sep 6, 2016

The peak of hurricane season is upon us! We discuss some of the storms going on at the time of this recording, as well as some basics about tropical systems. How they work, what sizes they can be and what storm surge is.

Show Notes!

Recent Weather News

Some Tropical Links: 

 

This week's musical outro: "Trying To Reason With Hurricane Season" by Jimmy Buffet.

The photo above is courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory taken on September 1, 2016

Aug 8, 2016

On this week's show, we discuss microbursts, recent flooding, the beginning of hurricane season, "rain bombs", and our recent heat wave. Also, Jimmy doesn't accept that we've exhausted all possible planets we could live on...

 

Show Notes!

Recent Weather News

Topic: Alternative Universe Weather

 

This week's outro is ""If you Luke father west....if you're Wookiee" Today's Star Wars weather" courtesy of this video.

Jul 2, 2016

In a twist on the normal discussion of weather on Earth, the crew of Ice Station Housman takes a journey through the solar system to see what other planet's weather is like. 

The main goal: to determine which planet humans can relocate to in the unfortunate case of Earth becoming inhabitable. 

Show Notes!

Introductions- The gang's all here! Joel, Jimmy and Becky tackle the complexities of space together. 

Topic: Other Planet's Weather

 

This week's intro music is "Lucy In The Sky, With Diamonds" by The Beatles.

Our outro music is "Life On Mars?" by David Bowie.

This episode's background image courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The image was taken by Hubble. Read more information about the photo.

Jun 6, 2016

This week Becky, Jimmy, and Joel are joined by Katie Wheatley, GIS mapping expert, to talk about mapping the weather.

Show Notes

Introductions

Katie's bio on USTornadoes.com

Today's Topic: Mapping the weather.

This weeks outro-music is "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

May 15, 2016

On this week's show we discuss the four day severe weather outbreak from earlier last week as well as what YOU should do in the event of a tornado warning. Jimmy is out this week, so Becky and Joel review a blog post she wrote in early 2015 covering the topic of tornado safety. We also cover the discussion that popped up this week related to the old vs new method for rating tornado severity and highlight a number of intense videos from the past week's storms.

Show Notes!

Introductions - Jimmy is out this week at a conference and was unable to co-host - so its just Becky and Joel.

Topic: Tornado Safety

Scary Tornado Videos From This Outbreak

Also, after we finished recording this episode, USTornados.com did a big writeup specifically about the Katie, OK Tornado.

This week's outro music was "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive.

Apr 26, 2016

This is it...the next chapter in Ice Station Housman's history begins with a bang as Becky Elliott,  real-life-no-fooling meteorologist and severe weather junkie joins Joel and Jimmy as a full-time host! Huzzah!

Becky gives us an insider's perspective on storm chasing - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Plus, Joel gloats over his LaserDisc copy of Twister, Jimmy makes his demands, and the hyperloop tube back to Virginia adds a second stop in Pennsylvania.

Show Notes!

 

Closing music for this episode: "Riding the Storm Out" by REO Speedwagon.

Mar 20, 2016

Intro

Tornados: a Primer

How do tornadoes form

The F-scale

Predictability?

The Feb. 26 Tornado in Tidewater VA

  1. Tornado’s aren’t just in the plains...
  2. National Weather Service Review of this event
  3. The path
  4. The damage
  5. Jimmy’s first and third-hand accounts of the destruction
  6. What to do in the event of a Tornado

 

The "evil meteorologist convoy" from Twister (look at that GMC RV in the back!!!)

Outro music, "Shania Twain - No One Needs To Know" from the Twister Soundtrack.

(Apparently the music video was shot in the house that you saw in the movie Twister that they "aunt"(?) lived in).

Feb 23, 2016

This week on the show, El Nino follow-up, listener feedback questions, and winter precipitation. What is the difference between sleet and hail? What is Graupel? What exact atmospheric conditions cause freezing rain? We cover all the answers to these questions and others you might have about winter precipitation.

 

Show Notes!

Introduction

El Nino Follow-up

El Niño Just Made That Mysterious Warm Blob in the Ocean Disappear

Listener Feedback Follow-up - Thanks Steve Owens!

The American Meteorological Society's Weather Resources

Know Your Snow

Winter Weather Precipitation Types

Outro Music: "Looks Like Rain" by Bob Weir.

[Image Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, "NASA Sees Winter Storm Slamming Eastern United States"]

Feb 4, 2016
Harken back to a simpler time: January, 2016. Snowzilla (“Winter Storm Jonas” if you’re a weenie) was bearing down on the DC Metro area. Thrill at this tale of yesteryear as Joel and Jimmy consult Becky Elliott (@AccuWxBeck) about the storm, the hard work that goes into predicting major weather events, professional liability in meteorology, and driving in the snow for…fun? What? That’s ridiculous. 
 
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: Jimmy and Joel recap the storm a few days after and decide once and for all if liking severe weather events (esp. blizzards) is elitist. 
 
BONUS FEATURE: Jimmy, sighing dejectedly as Becky and Joel talk about how much they love snow. 
 

“SNOW” NOTES:

OUTRO MUSIC

“Let It Go” by Idina Menzel, from the movie ‘Frozen’

Jan 18, 2016

This week's episode is remarkable for three reasons:

  1. Jimmy no longer has laryngitis
  2. We cover many popular weather myths
  3. We have a guest!

Not just any guest, mind you: Tiffany Arment! Yes, THE Tiffany Arment! Not just A Tiffany Arment! 

We cover all kinds of myths:

  • Does lightning strike the same place more than once? Yes, of course. Sometimes, it strikes the same guy many times (a guy who later committed suicide over unrequited love, a fact unknown to the hosts and their guest at the time of recording).
  • Is it a good idea to hide under an overpass during a tornado? No, it's not, don't do that.
  • Does salt melt ice? It keeps it from forming, but it won't melt it outright. 
  • Are Tiff and Jimmy best friends now? You bet your ass, they are.

There's a lot to cover, so get to listenin'! Stop believing myths! Start believing facts! Don't get hit by lighting seven times!

Show Notes!

Tiffany Arment can be found at:

Top Four podcast

Tiffany Arment photography

Some Famous Hurricanes

Hurricane Hugo

Hurricane Gloria

Hurricane Fran

Lighting Strikes, Maybe Once, Maybe Twice...

Lighting Strike Scars

Roy Sullivan, park ranger

"He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 71 over an unrequited love."

Bummer.

I Haven't the Foggiest Idea...

Myth: Fog “burns off”

Russian Face Heat Solutions and You

Balaclava

Lifehack: Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze

Jimmy's Pipe Burst Story

FROM THE OMBUDSMAN

  • (The word Jimmy meant to use was “petrified”, not “mortified”)
  • There are a gazillion articles about weather myths, many of which have many of the same myths listed. Joel pulled most of the myths featured in the show from here.
  • The closing music for this week wasn't mentioned in the broadcast. It is "Lightning Strikes" by Lou Christie. A very fun song about lighting and how it strikes and strikes again.
  • Image credit: "Leiden Lighting" by Carolina Ödman
Jan 6, 2016

This week on the show, we talk about Jimmy's new Farmer's Almanac and how accurate it has been for the month of December. We also talk about weather stations: what they are, the many places you can find them, and different types of personal weather stations you can get for yourself.  We also cover some of our favorite weather apps and websites we think you might find useful. Joel is preparing for the weather in July. Jimmy sounds like a lifelong sword swallower who gargled with rock salt. Check your funometer, there's a podcast a-comin'! 

What are weather stations?

Historial weather data for National Airport (DCA) for December 2015

Different personal weather stations we talked about:

Smart Weather Stations

Joel's favorite, the Netatmo:

Elgato's HomeKit compatible Eve Weather outdoor sensor:

Dumb Weather Stations

Listings of hundreds of "old school" style, non "smart" weather stations on Amazon

  • I would do lots of research and comparisons of reviews before buying any of these as I don't have a good recommendation for any of them. The one I mentioned I own is several years old, and its model has been discontinued. It was made by Ambient Weather.

Portable Weather Devices

The portable, handheld weather meters Jimmy talked about:

Antique Weather Stations

A good example of one of the cool, anitque-style weather clock/barometer/thermometer that we talked about on the show with a "glass".

Various smartphone and desktop apps we talked about:

Radarscope

Today Weather

Darksky

NOAA Hi-Def Radar

Some of Joel's favorite weather websites:

Weather.gov's Conus Full Mosaic Radar Loop

Weather Undergound's Full Screen Radar Map w/ Weather Station Data

Forecast.io

Forecast.io/lines

United States Wind Map

Global Earth Wind Map

Dec 22, 2015

Joel and Jimmy kick off the series with an episode about El Niño, that mysterious shift in warm ocean water that drives the whole planet bonkers every 2(ish) to 7(ish) years. They reflect on tiny changes and big effects, as well as how weather science (and science in general) is often a coin flip; heads is disaster, tails is disappointment.

 

Introductions

El Niño on Wikipedia

What are El Niño and La Niña? from NOAA. 

Chris Farley's El Niño skit on Saturday Night Live.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration El Niño Portal

The NOAA ENSO Blog

Wunderground's El Niño Blog (A truly excellent blog)

What does El Niño mean for the 2015-2016 Winter by Weather.com

November El Niño update: It’s a small world from climate.gov.

Historical White Christmas Chances

Weatherbell.com - a truly excellent, but premium, weather model products site.

El Niño and the Galápagos from climate.gov (we forgot to talk about this in the show, but there is some very cool information here. Check it out).

By one measure, this wicked El Niño is the strongest ever recorded: What it means by Capital Weather Gang (Check out the video in this post - only takes about 3 minutes to watch but does a very good job of giving you a quick, high level explanation of El Niño).

Is the near-record El Niño already chipping away at the California, western drought? by Capital Wearther Gang

This remarkably strong El Niño has topped yet another significant record by Capital Weather Gang

Past weather patterns highlight the difference between snow boom or snow bust during a strong El Nino in D.C. by Ian Livingston

Survey photos reveal damage of this year’s global coral bleaching event from climate.gov

US Drought Monitor Website

El Nino brings 2nd venomous sea snake to California beaches from the Oregonian (another item we forgot to cover. Still, cool though so check it out)

 

 

 

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