Friday, 15 December 2017

The Lighter Side: Amusing Conspiracy Theories About The Weather

While the weather as a whole is a serious matter, it helps that once in a while people take a break and find some humor and entertainment in it. There are countless pop culture references pertaining to the weather. Entire disaster movies have been built around its theories and concepts. Let’s take a look at one of the more amusing aspects of weather – the conspiracy theories.

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The European Rain Thieves

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was known to be a conspiracy freak. Many have also considered him to be deranged. But that didn’t stop Iran from making him president. One of the most famous conspiracy theories Ahmadinejad came out with during his regime was that of European nations actually stealing rain.

Ahmadinejad theorized that the countries of Europe had come up with a device that drained rain clouds over Iran and took them westward to Europe.

Fair Radiation Servings

Solar radiation management, otherwise known as SRM, refers to a set of methods and techniques that help lower radiation from the sun. The primary means of SRM is to spray chemicals that reflect radiation back into space. While governments all around the world have applauded this effort to reduce radiation, global warming, and climate change in general, conspiracy theorists are quick to suspect that there are sinister intentions behind this, and that countries are using SRM to control weather and use it as a weapon.

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Jim Byrne is a consulting meteorologist for the Weather Channel show “So You Think You’d Survive” and an active member and past president of the Rancho Maria Men’s Golf Club. He is the former chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12 and freelance weekend meteorologist at NBC Bay Area. For more updates from Jim Byrne, click here.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Kicking In The Rain: Tips For Playing Soccer In Bad Weather

For dedicated athletes, playing in the rain brings excitement and a whole other level of performance. Yet, doing so might result in accidents that could hinder them from playing for a long time. Slips and other risks should be avoided if one decides to play in bad weather.

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While there are many indoor courts soccer players can play in, the quality of turf isn’t the same as the one outdoors. The pleasant experience of playing in real grass while the sun is out is what soccer players are after. Rains may strike in the middle of the game, and if there are no lightning strikes and heavy winds, a game may continue. The following tips may guide players how to their game safe even in bad weather:

  • Put more pace on the ball - During heavy rains, the grass becomes sloppy, and a ball might get stuck during a pass. Pass harder to get the ball to target player.
  • Play the ball in the air - The ball moves slower on the ground and playing more direct can give a team fewer chances of being intercepted by the opposing team.
  • Slide tackle - When the grass is wet, a player’s risk of being scraped by the surface is lessened. During the rain, it’s much easier to do this defensive skill.
  • Be mindful of the skip - A ball may skip because of the layer of water in the grass. Know where to place the ball and how to run with it.

Weatherman Jim Byrne is a consultant for the Weather Channel program “So you think you’d survive” and a former chief meteorologist at KCOY CBS-12. For more weather discussions, visit this blog.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Preparing the home for a blizzard

Blizzards are nasty events that nature designed to wreak havoc on entire cities during the winter time. As such, a lot of preparation is needed to help people get through these snow storms. If a home is not ready to cope with the weather, the results are oftentimes disastrous. Here are a few pointers in preparing for a blizzard. 

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  • As soon as people receive reports of an incoming blizzard, they should prepare all their lanterns and rechargeable lamps. It’s highly recommended that every household have a wind-up lamp. 

  • People should also have transistor radios ready so even with the electricity cut off, they can still gather the latest developments from the storm. 

  •  Communication devices such as phones and walk-talkies should be charged so people can talk to their loved ones and see how they’re doing. It’ll also come in very handy when people experience an emergency and need help themselves. 

  • Having the home equipped with a freeze alarm can be useful during the winter months. If a person is on their way home and they get notified through the app that their house has lost power and there’s a sudden drop in temperature, they may look for other options to kill time. 

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Jim Byrne is a weatherman and former chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12. Learn more about him and his work by checking out this blog.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

The strongest storms in recorded history

Forces of nature are fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Perhaps no other calamity is as far reaching and affects as much of the world as oceanic storms. Throughout history, storms have come out from the oceans to batter those living on land. Early civilizations would even come up with legends of how gods and monsters would conjure these destructive winds and rains. More modern societies have studied these patterns and have devised countless safety measures to minimize destruction of property and loss of life. 

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Let’s take a short look at two of the strongest storms in recorded history. 

Typhoon Nancy 

The undisputed strongest typhoon in history, based on the strength of her winds, Typhoon Nancy brought a path of destruction that many governments and research centers still study up to this day. The debate though is whether the info on her is reliable. What was more devastating was that it sustained her strength for over five whole days, which is a record. 

Typhoon Violet 

Typhoon Violet at its strongest was one of the most intense storms ever recorded. Only Nancy was stronger. One fortunate fact about Violet was that it didn’t last long. Whereas Nancy held the record for lasting the longest as a category 5 typhoon, Violet died down after only a few days.

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Jim Byrne is a seasoned weatherman and the former chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12. For more fascinating discussion on the weather, check out this blog.

Monday, 17 July 2017

The Fundamental Workings Of The Wind

Weather is caused by the interplay of the sun, the air, and water. The most fundamental of its forces is the wind, the movement of air from one place to another. The very movement of the wind influences the pattern of the weather. Winds carry water vapor up to the troposphere, where it condenses into clouds, which are then carried across vast distances. Surface currents, themselves part of a complex conveyor of warm and cool water across the Earth’s oceans, are driven in part by the winds.


All air is constantly in motion: wind is rapidly moving air, caused ultimately, by the actions of the sun and influenced by the interplay of heat and pressure. As the sun rises, the air is gradually warmed. As a gaseous mixture, warm air expands—losing density and pressure—and rises. Air from higher pressure (usually cooler) areas thus moves in to fill the void left by the rising air.

Because of the role played by pressure in creating wind movement, measuring the pressure of air has become a staple part of meteorology. Detecting areas of low pressure can allow meteorologists to predict the likelihood of stormy weather accurately.


The winds experienced every day are rather subtle differences in pressure, the result of the fluctuations caused by sunlight over the course of the day. Stronger winds are caused by much more concentrated differences in pressure, such as those experienced when warm air currents from the tropics collide with cooler air from the poles, creating an immense turbulent movement that, in the right conditions, would turn into a storm.

Jim Byrne is a seasoned weatherman and the former chief meteorologist for KCOY CBS-12. This blog shares more updates on the fundamentals of the weather.