Posts tagged ‘AccuWeather’

Barry Myers Tabbed to Lead NOAA

President Trump has nominated a Penn State alumnus to head the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Barry Myers ’67 Lib, CEO of State College-based AccuWeather, was tabbed by Trump on Wednesday to lead NOAA, the agency that oversees the National Weather Service, conducts weather and climate research, and monitors U.S. coast lines. His pick is a departure from previous NOAA nominees, who tend to come from scientific backgrounds, but in keeping with Trump’s preference for candidates from the business world.

Myers’ nomination is controversial to some: As The Washington Post reports, his role as head of a private business that uses National Weather Service data has inspired conflict of interest concerns, both among ex-NOAA staffers and the NWS employee union, which released a statement arguing that Myers would “be in a position to fundamentally alter the nature of weather services that NOAA provides the nation, to the benefit of his family-owned business.”

The nomination was greeted more warmly by the Weather Coalition, an advocacy group of which both AccuWeather and the Penn State Department of Meteorology are members. A Weather Coalition spokesman said Myers “brings a strong track record in growing one of the most successful companies in the weather industry.”

Ryan Jones, deputy editor

 

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October 12, 2017 at 11:08 am 1 comment

What’s on Joe Bastardi’s Mind

Never a guy to shy away from attention or controversy, Joe Bastardi ’78 EMS is in the news lately more than usual. A former Penn State wrestler, prolific local columnist, proud body builder, global-warming skeptic, and respected long-term forecaster, Bastardi last week abruptly quit his post at AccuWeather, a move that made national news.

So this is well timed: Bastardi was featured a few days ago in a Q&A on the Vanity Fair website, in which he discusses his work, his muscles, weird 1970s holiday cartoons, and the reliability of Punxsutawney Phil. It’s highly recommended reading.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

February 28, 2011 at 2:47 pm Leave a comment

An Atlanta Sampler

I’ve been to Atlanta and back since last we talked—I went down there to speak at an event put on by the Atlanta chapter, which is one of the Alumni Association’s largest and most active chapters.

My friend Scott Dickson ’85, ’88g, who lives down there, assured me in advance that it wouldn’t be as hot as I might picture Atlanta in June to be. “June is warm but not hatefully hot,” he told me in a Facebook message. “Expect low- to mid-80s during the day. Atlanta is not as hot as people act like it is.”

Ha! When I was there, it was in the 90s and extremely humid; the AccuWeather “real feel” on Friday afternoon was 101˚. Even the locals were complaining about how hot it was.

Peter Mauro, husband of Jill Woodward Mauro ’93, won a vintage-helmet hat in a raffle at the chapter event.

But it was a fun time nonetheless. The chapter event—an annual Member Appreciation Party—took place at a sports bar called the Hudson Grille, and I got a kick out of seeing my PowerPoint projected not only onto the giant TV screen but on every TV monitor in the joint. People seemed attentive and had lots of questions for me afterward—including the one that seems to get asked every time: “What’s the most controversial story you’ve ever done?”

And I met some fun folks, including one couple who were students in the College of Ag Sciences in the mid-1990s but didn’t know each other at the time. In fact, they didn’t meet until they both ended up in Atlanta and both attended the same football-watching party one Saturday. (The Atlanta chapter has a football-watching party every weekend in the fall.) They’re getting married this August.

Kelly-Jean Erwin ’01 and Jason Gallaher ’01, ’04g from the Atlanta chapter deserve big thanks for organizing the event and for taking such good care of me. Kelly took me to lunch before the event at a restaurant called the South City Kitchen, which is owned in part by a Penn Stater—Kris Reinhard ’93—and where I sampled a little southern cooking, including fried green tomatoes. (Kelly reports that the crab hash was delicious.)

In addition to the chapter event, I had a little bit of time to explore Atlanta. I indulged my new knitting obsession by going to a yarn shop called Knitch, in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood. I enjoyed feasting my eyes on yarns I’d never seen before and talking with the shop staff about knitting. I also gave my VISA card a good workout there.

And I also indulged my love of old cemeteries by taking my camera to Oakland Cemetery—which, I discovered, is just a few blocks from the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, now part of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

I have more photos from the Oakland Cemetery than from the chapter event, I’m embarrassed to say, but hey, it’s hard to shoot good photos in a sports bar. So if you’re interested in the cemetery photos, check out the short slide show below. Note especially the grave of golfer Bobby Jones and the golf-related objects that people leave there.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Tina Hay, editor

June 21, 2010 at 1:54 pm 2 comments

Snowpocalypse? This Meteorologist Might Agree

AccuWeather meteorologist and Penn Stater Jim Kosek ’86 got a little excited about the “snowpocalypse” that buried Baltimore this past weekend. Making its way around Facebook (that’s where I found it—linked from the Daily Press) and with over 630,000 views on YouTube, looks like Kosek’s snow…excitement?…may have hit the spot.

Enjoy below.

Oh boy.

If you’re all jazzed up from watching that video, you can always head on over to Facebook and join his fan club. Yes, he has a fan club, with 861 members so far. The description of the group is simple: “This man brings joy to my life.”

Amy Guyer, associate editor

February 10, 2010 at 5:48 pm 1 comment

Penn State’s Fancy Weather Center

DSC_5249 sm weather centerThis past weekend was Parents & Families Weekend—an event sponsored by the Alumni Association and the Division of Student Affairs—and among the approximately 2,793 events available was an open house at the Joel N. Myers Weather Center, on the sixth floor of Walker Building.

The weather center was just renovated this past year. Last month Penn State announced that Joel Myers ’61, ’63g, ’71g, founder of AccuWeather, has pledged a $2 million gift to support the center, which has been renamed in his honor.

DSC_5241 sm Matt RydzikIt’s a pretty impressive operation, starting with the bank of monitors you see as soon as you walk in the door. (See photos above and at left.) They offer views of just about every piece of weather data you could possibly need: NASA satellite images of Earth, U.S. surface temperatures, sunspot activity, you name it. Plus Webcam views of everywhere from Erie to Burlington to Paris.

Two students, Matt Rydzik and Greg Ferro, led the tour. We learned that the Campus Weather Service is the largest student-run weather forecasting operation in the country. We also learned that the students spend enormous amounts of time, well into the wee hours, working at the weather center. Apparently the running joke is that if you don’t like your roommate, it’s OK—you can just live at the weather center.

DSC_5265 sm chalkboard climatology chartWe saw a computer lab, which still has a chalkboard with State College’s climatology data going back to 1887. The student giving the tour said that during the renovations last spring, they deliberately kept the chalkboard as a holdover from the old weather center. It’s kind of charming, albeit a little hard to read, as you can see. (You can click on any of these photos to see them bigger.) The student mentioned that the Pennsylvania state climatologist is a Penn State faculty member: Paul Knight ’75, ’77g.

DSC_5282 sm Drew AndersonThe other fun room we visited was the TV studio, on the fifth floor of the same building, where we found another student, Drew Anderson. One of the parents on the tour recognized Drew immediately: “Aren’t you the guy who did the weather on Game Day last weekend?” (He is.)

The studio is where the TV show Weather World originates; it’s also used for classes and for students to do occasional forecasts on ESPN-U. Drew showed us the TV equipment—the green screen and all that—and also talked about some of the art involved in being on TV, like taking a step toward the camera when there’s a point he wants to emphasize.

About the only thing we didn’t get to see was the roof of Walker Building, which is home to a lot of weather instruments, and which supposedly offers a very nice view of campus. One of the student guides told me that there are just too many important research instruments up there to allow a lot of tours to tromp through. Which is understandable. But clearly I need to go back over sometime and talk one of the faculty into taking me up there. I’ll report back when I do.

I’ll close with just one more photo for you; actually it’s a strip of three photos of some of the monitors in the Joel Myers Weather Center. I have absolutely no idea what’s going on in any of these images, but they sure are pretty to look at.

DSC_5296 sm strip

Tina Hay, editor

P.S. Among the other events of Parents & Families Weekend was an open house at the president’s office in Old Main, along with a trip to the Old Main bell tower. You can see photos from that at live.psu.edu.

October 5, 2009 at 1:59 pm 3 comments

AccuWeather on Keeping Creamery Cows Cool

Came across this short, informative video on AccuWeather.com about how folks up in Ag Sciences keep the Creamery cows from overheating during warm weather — which, magically, has finally arrived in Happy Valley this week. The page doesn’t seem to want to let me embed the video, but if you’re a Creamery fan and have 75 seconds to spare, it’s worth checking out here. My only beef? The video is titled “Cooler Cows Smooth ‘Rocky Road,'” which doesn’t really work, since I’ve never actually seen Rocky Road at the Creamery — and it’s nowhere to be found on the official flavor list, either. Unless it was on the list years ago and I don’t know about it, the closest we’ve come to having Rocky Road at the Creamery was this special order whipped up for a big party in D.C. earlier this year.

Ryan Jones, senior editor

June 23, 2009 at 2:12 pm Leave a comment

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