From the science of forecasting to the best apps for your smartphone, here’s our guide to navigating the crazy new world of weather
Make the Most of Any Weather
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Conquering the Conditions
Ashley Lehman is an ecologist for the U.S. Forest Service, based in Anchorage. She spends three months of the year hiking through humid, rainy jungle on various Pacific islands, measuring the health of the forest. In the process, Lehman told us how she has to watch out for saltwater crocodiles, poisonous trees, and unexploded World War II bombs.
Matt MacIsaac has been a motor vehicle operator on the maintenance staff at Death Valley National Park for 15 years. In summer, he works in temperatures exceeding 120 degrees. For the unprepared, the heat can be deadly. We asked MacIsaac how he survives—and stays hydrated—working outside in the hottest place in America.
Since 2006, Art Woods, a marine biologist at the University of Montana, has made annual two-month trips to Antarctica to dive under the ice and study curiously large sea spiders. We asked him what it's like to do science when the ocean is freezing, the dives are deep, and there's only one hole to come up for air.
For almost 40 years, Don MacGorman has launched truck-sized data balloons into storms while enduring drenching rain and potentially lethal hail. For the National Severe Storms Laboratory physicist who literally wrote the book on lightning, it's all just another day's work.
Ryan Knapp is a weather observer and meteorologist at the Mount Washington Weather Station in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Winters are windy, icy, and frigid. Summers aren't much better. We called him up to ask what it's like to be knocked down by wind and how he endures working in some of the world's worst weather.
Masters of the Storm
When Hurricane Sandy closed in on New York City, the Weather Channel dispatched (who else?) Jim Cantore. Nick Heil tagged along for a wet, wild adventure that quickly became something else—a survival challenge in the darkest hours of a killer storm.
The Colorado skier puts out winter storm alerts that track the essentials: Where exactly the snow will fall, how much, and when. As fellow weather nerd Michael Behar finds out, it’s wonderful when it works.
The most perilous road in America gets 300 inches of snow a year, features 70 named avalanche paths, and has almost no guardrails. Who would be crazy enough to keep Colorado's infamous Highway 550 clear in winter? Leath Tonino hopped into the cab of a Mack snowplow truck to find out.
The Power of Nature
Mike Olbinski is a photographer with an obsession—chasing storms throughout the southwest. It sounds crazy, but when you see his photos you'll understand.
Weather We Love
Haboobs? Volcano lightning? Keep your hat on, the sky isn't falling just yet.