#42 — Kait Parker (Weather.com)


Hello! And welcome to another edition of the Inside The Newsroom podcast newsletter. Today’s guest is Kait Parker, meteorologist at weather.com and host of the Warming Signs podcast. We talked about hurricane recoveries and what the past couple of years mean for climate change attitudes. Below are links and post-game analyses of everything we talked about. Hope you enjoy and pick up something!

Warming Signs

Clever title aside, Kait has her own podcast where she speaks to people from different areas of the meteorology and climatology worlds. Last week’s episode was topical to our own conversation, when Kait spoke to Lisa LaDue, Hurricane Harvey Mental Health and Psychosocial Program Manager for Americares. Definitely worth listening to about how when a hurricane comes ashore, it’s just the beginning of a recovery that can last decades.

Destruction Is Just the Start

Hurricane Michael’s 160mph winds left parts of Florida and Georgia unrecognizable. For many, the news was quickly shoved aside by politics or some dumb shit Rick Scott said. But for the thousands of farmers in south west Georgia, the rebuilding has only just begun and may take up to a decade to return to normalcy.

Max Blau, Atlanta Magazine

Bob Inglis At Your Service

There are portions of the GOP that have their heads screwed on as it pertains to climate change, and one of those is former six-term South Carolina Republican congressman Bob Inglis, who lost his seat way back in 2010 in large part due to his support for climate change. Inglis didn’t even make it out of the GOP primary, but has since set up his own nonprofit, RepublicEn, devoted to getting conservatives to come to grips with climate change.

James Rainey, NBC News

Why Even Have a Hurricane Season?

Tropical storms have occurred before the “official” start of the Atlantic hurricane season (June 1st) for the past five years, which begs the question why we put a label on when a season starts and ends (November 30th). There is logic behind it: 97 percent of tropical activity in the Atlantic happens between these dates, according to the National Hurricane Center. And fun fact: The season initially stretched from June 15 through November 15, until officials decided in 1965 to expand it.

Nicole Chavez, CNN

Hurricane Imelda Sounds Terrifying 😨

A look at the names for the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season. Here’s to hoping we don’t have to use all of them…

Saeed Ahmed and Judson Jones, CNN

Record May For Tornadoes

For folks like Kait, severe weather is a year-round commitment. In May, a record 13 consecutive days of tornadic activity in the US led to an unprecedented 555 tornado reports. While data is preliminary and needs to be confirmed, we know that two EF-4 tornadoes rocked Dayton, Ohio and Linwood, Kansas, and an EF-3 destroyed parts of Jefferson City, Missouri.

Amanda Schmidt, Accuweather

Is Climate Change Responsible?

The short answer is welllllll... As Dr. Victor Gensini from Northern Illinois University points out, no single weather event is caused by climate change. But that doesn’t mean climate change didn’t have an effect. More simply put, climate change increases the odds of severe weather events happening. More detail in the thread below.

Victor Gensini, Northern Illinois University

The “Twister” Effect

Something I’ve always found fascinating is the power of Hollywood, and the 1996 classic “Twister” is a classic example. The movie starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton was a huge hit on and off the screen, and is widely cited as the birth of amateur storm chasing in the US. In the decades before the movie, meteorology in America was obscure, maybe a small department at only a few dozen universities. But in the decade between 1994 and 2004, Americans receiving bachelor’s degrees in meteorology increased by 47 percent.

Ben Guarino, Washington Post

Related Podcasts

#37 — Josh Morgerman (Hurricane Man)

#23 — Michael E. Mann (Penn State University)

#17 — James Spann (ABC 33/40)

Next Up…

… is Kashmir Hill. Kash has been a tech journalist for ages and decided to go all out by cutting out one of the big five technology companies. For one week at a time, she erased Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Apple and told me everything she learned.

Last Time

#41 — Jessica Lessin (The Information)

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