If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me ‘what is the weather going to be today?’ I’d literally have tens of dollars. But, it is a reality I am faced with with every severe weather season and with any threat of moisture that comes out of the sky. I suddenly become everyone’s go-to person because I am married to the
weatherman meteorologist. It’s like they think I am privy to secret weather information; that I’ll be able to tell them the exact time, wind speed, accumulation, etc. that will hit their house that day.
April and May in Oklahoma are my least favorite months for various reasons, including:
- I don’t see my husband
- There is no such thing as a schedule (see previous blog here.)
- I suddenly need to act as media spokesman for the friends and co-workers to educate everyone on what to expect for weather events that day/week.
- My phone blows up with “Is there going to be a tornado?” “Do I need to seek shelter?”
But what you don’t know is on severe weather outbreak days my husband is doing 12-15+ hour long days, prepping, chasing, forecasting, phoning into the station, working behind the scenes literally answering all the questions viewers want to know. There is no time for him to tell the storm “hold on so I can text my wife and let her know what the weather is in her backyard.” From me to you, I might hear from him once or twice on a severe weather day simply as a status update, otherwise I have to watch the news just like everyone else.
My advice to you is, turn on the news, the
weathermen meteorologists will give you the most accurate information and will break it down by the minute and literally tell you if it’s going to hit your house or not. The behind the scenes action is incredible on severe weather days. While you see one to two weatherman meteorologists on air, there are double to triple the people behind the green screen, looking at new models coming in, getting viewer photos to share, communicating with the chasers, creating new graphics, etc. Then you have all the storm chasers out on the road following every single major storm cell to inform the viewers exactly where it is and where it is going. All 3 major stations in Oklahoma City have helicopter pilots that are on the storm to provide a birds-eye-view of what the storm is acting like. And all of that are only the storm teams! This doesn’t even go into the newsroom and all the reporters and anchors and what they are putting together to inform everyone what’s happened when a storm blows through.
I’ve asked Aaron if he could so kindly take a break to text me if a tornado is headed towards our neighborhood, or at least give me a personal shout-out on air, he said he could do that, so to any friends we have in the surrounding area, I will do my best to text you personally if there is a need to worry. But again, my advice to you is be prepared. Have your storm shelter ready, or have a safe room to go to in your home, don’t go driving around running errands if you know a storm is headed your way, have a weather radio, download your favorite local station’s weather apps, and tune in to the local channels see exactly what’s happening.
There are often times local events held by different organizations that ask the news stations in their area if they’d be able to have a reporter, anchor, meteorologist speak to the crowd about a particular topic. This can be a great opportunity for both news personalities and the organization to raise awareness and educate the public on various topics. The KFOR team has a great program called “Weather School”. The Meteorologist will go to a school assembly and talk about how to be ‘weather aware’ and go over safety precautions to take when a tornado is headed their way. The kids love it, the teachers love it, and the Meteorologist has a great time and gets to feature the kids on the news that night.
Adults need training too. Aaron recently got to be a guest speaker for the FAA Safety Team’s “Safer Skies Through Education” Program. The topic: “Weather (the complex part)” : Weather far beyond a simple briefing. Ooooh, sounds enticing! The talk was going to be about :30 minutes for Aaron on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, so I decided to attend! When we got to the meeting we found that the speakers were running behind, about an hour behind, so I got to hear all about the ‘complex part of weather’ from various different guest speakers ranging from Air Traffic Controllers, to Navigators, and aviation weather experts walking us through their websites. I’d like to say it was exciting, engaging, interesting, and educational, but WOW, I had no idea what the heck they were talking about! I felt like I had regressed back to being 3rd grader listening, but not comprehending anything, and fighting to keep my eyes open and hide my yawning!
I’ve concluded I’m not the best at hiding when I am bored, lost, confused, the teacher/instructor usually knows exactly where I’m at mentally based off my doodling, my yawning, and general lack of interest. Not that this FAA meeting was boring in anyway, I just didn’t know what the heck was going on. However, they did have delicious brownies that I inhaled–> worth it!
Anyways, Aaron’s turn finally came, and there was an excitement in the room. Everyone went from this:
When Aaron got up to talk. Aaron pretty much came down the lecture hall looking like this:
But in reality, here is a video of how it really went down:
So all-in-all, I’d have to say it went pretty well! I don’t think I’ll be becoming a pilot anytime soon, which should make my father breathe a sigh of relief, I also won’t be attending anything that is labeled “The Complex Part” in any category, and I also would like to avoid college lecture halls as much as possible to try and maintain my overcompensation of alertness: