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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Now displaying: 2016
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!


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!


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


Katie's bio on

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, 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


Tornados: a Primer

How do tornadoes form

The F-scale


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!


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. 



“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."


I Haven't the Foggiest Idea...

Myth: Fog “burns off”

Russian Face Heat Solutions and You


Lifehack: Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze

Jimmy's Pipe Burst Story


  • (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:


Today Weather


NOAA Hi-Def Radar

Some of Joel's favorite weather websites:'s Conus Full Mosaic Radar Loop

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

United States Wind Map

Global Earth Wind Map