CoCoRaHS WxTalk Webinars


The CoCoRaHS WxTalk Webinar Series

In December 2011 CoCoRaHS kicked off a new and exciting monthly Webinar series called CoCoRaHS WxTalk (wx is shorthand for weather). CoCoRaHS WxTalk consists of a series of monthly one-hour interactive Webinars featuring engaging experts in the fields of atmospheric science, climatology and other pertinent disciplines. These easy to follow presentations are live and approximately sixty minutes long. The audience is given the chance to submit questions which the experts answer live on the air.

Topics have included: Snow, Satellites, Hurricanes, Lightning, Clouds, Tornadoes, Flash Floods, Fire Weather, Weather History, Radar and How to become a Meteorologist, just to name a few.  

There are many exciting Webinars on the agenda in the months ahead, so please tell your friends to join us.  All WxTalk Webinars are free and most are recorded for later viewing.

*Although headphones are a good way of listening to the Webinars, only a set of speakers is required to hear the Webinar.  The audience will be muted so there is no need for a microphone. All incoming correspondence during the Webinar should be in typed form.

Upcoming WxTalk Webinars:

Thursday, December 3, 2015 - 1PM EST 


"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2015"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK


Greg will present an overview of hazardous weather episodes impacting life and property within the United States during 2015. Selected events will be presented in quasi-chronological order and described with photos, maps, and loops of satellite and radar data. While many of the events selected for this talk captured the attention of the media and public, some of these "meteorological memories" may have been forgotten as more substantial weather events occurred throughout the year. This review will highlight some of the "big stories", as well as smaller short-term events. The presentation will include descriptions of significant and deadly weather events of the past year including winter storms, tornadoes and floods. Along with the meteorological set-up for each event, an impact summary will also be provided.

Given the national scope and varied responsibilities of the Storm Prediction Center, high impact weather events, ranging from severe thunderstorm and tornado outbreaks to wildfires and winter storms, are analyzed and forecast regularly. These responsibilities provide the SPC forecaster with a unique opportunity to interpret data related to extreme weather across the nation. This diversified  experience, and the availability of large, high-resolution, archived datasets, provide for this type of informative presentation.


Thursday, December 10, 2015 - 1PM EST 

Radiosondes, it’s what’s overhead that counts
Paul Ciesielski
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO


A radiosonde (sonde is French and German for probe) is a battery-powered telemetry instrument package carried into the atmosphere usually by a weather balloon that measures various atmospheric parameters and transmits them by radio to a ground receiver. Radiosondes are an essential source of meteorological data, and hundreds are launched all over the world daily.  In this talk I will discuss a brief history of radiosondes, different types of sondes, what sondes measure and how, where soundings are taken, and how the data collected by radiosondes are used.


Thursday,  January 28, 2016 - 1PM EST 

Weather Underground: How 130,000 Personal Weather Stations Make a Difference

Jeff Masters
Weather Underground
San Francisco, CA


Bob Henson
Weather Underground
San Francisco, CA


How did a student/faculty project at the University of Michigan evolve into a network of more than 100,000 personal weather stations (PWSs)? And how can you and your own weather station participate in the WU network? Join us for this look at the colorful history and global reach of Weather Underground. WU is the first weather-oriented firm to make its presence felt on the Web, having registered the 2000th domain on the Internet,, back in 1995. Millions of observations now travel each day from WU’s global network of PWSs into the world-class prediction algorithms that produce local forecasts on WU apps. WU became part of the Weather Company in 2013, and it is now on track to join much of the Weather Company as part of IBM early in 2016. WU co-founder Jeff Masters originated the site’s popular WunderBlog in 2005. Fellow meteorologist/blogger Bob Henson joined WU in 2015 after more than 25 years writing and editing at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 1PM EST

Evolving Outdoor Safety through Preparedness Programs
Charlie Woodrum
National Decision Support Services Program Manager
NOAA/National Weather Service Headquarters
Silver Spring, MD

A Weather-Ready Nation (WRN) cannot be built unless our country's most vulnerable outdoor locations are ready for any weather-related hazard. The most common and deadly weather hazard that impacts outdoor activities is lightning. The threat of lightning strikes resulting in serious injury or death at outdoor venues continues to be a pressing concern for event managers and organizers. Several delays have been documented in the past 5 years in which spectators did not have enough time to evacuate, or chose to wait out delays in unsafe locations. To address this issue, the National Weather Service (NWS) developed a lightning safety toolkit and recognition program that brings meteorologists and venue officials together to encourage and establish sound and proactive action plans when thunderstorms threaten their venue. The toolkit provides guidance used by venues to develop a plan specifically for lightning in addition to the other weather hazards that threaten stadiums. Many large national organizations have embraced the toolkit and encouraged their members to adopt and modify it to meet the specific needs of their local venue. Organizations that adopted plans locally range from little leagues to ski resorts.

Although the large gatherings that often gain the most attention for impacts from lightning are sporting events in large stadiums, there are other vulnerable public venues impacted which have resulted in more fatalities. In the past 5 years alone, the United States recorded 15 lightning fatalities related to fishing and 9 fatalities on beaches. The NWS responded to this need by expanding the toolkits to include templates designed specifically for communities, golf courses, boating, lifeguards, and beach patrols.   With this expansion of the toolkits to include community specific scenarios, there is now the opportunity to help Build a Weather-Ready Nation through the utilization of these toolkits by our WRN Ambassadors. Through the combination of these lightning toolkits, , the StormReady®/TsunamiReady® programs, and future adaptations of the toolkits, outdoor planners now have the necessary guidance available to them to create sound plans and execute them effectively during events. Although the tools are available, many still are unaware that these plans exist.  Thus, to help these vulnerable locations become more resilient, the meteorology community and WRN Ambassadors must educate partners and help them go the final mile to ensure a plan is in place.

Thursday,  March 10, 2016 - 1PM EDT

The Day in the life of a TV Meteorologist

Alan Sealls
Chief Meteorologist, WKRG
Mobile, AL


A meteorologist is in your house every day, if you watch TV news. From helping you to plan a weekend to preparing you for dangerous weather, TV meteorologists are loved and sometimes hated. Weather broadcasting is a unique profession because it combines communications, science, performance, community service, computer skills, and teamwork. You might only watch your favorite meteorologist for a few minutes each day. What do most TV meteorologists do with the rest of their work day? Alan Sealls shows and tells, and covers the skills and training needed to become a weather broadcaster. It can be a very rewarding job but it’s not for everyone!

Thursday,  April 21, 2016 - 1PM EDT

The Climate and Weather of the Midwestern United States
Mike Timlin
Midwest Regional Climate Center
Champaign, IL


Weather and climate in the Midwest varies throughout the seasons and also spatially across the region.  This talk will focus on the typical seasonal conditions for the Midwest. It will also highlight episodic weather experienced in the region ranging from winter storms, blizzards, and ice storms to summer heat, drought, flooding, and severe thunderstorms.  The impact of the Great Lakes, with shoreline in six Midwest states, will also be discussed.

The Midwest has multiple economic and social sectors that are strongly influenced by weather and climate.  One of the most significant sectors is its agriculture, primarily corn and soybeans, though many others such as apples, pumpkins, berries, and livestock also produced in the region. There are numerous large urban areas in the region as well, such as Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis, and Cleveland.  Transportation is another major sector, including air, rail, and ground, along with shipping on the Great Lakes and major rivers.  This presentation will highlight several of these sectors and discuss the influence of weather and climate.

Date TBA, May 2016

The Climate and Weather of the U.S. High Plains
High Plains Regional Climate Center
Lincoln, NE

Date TBA, June 2016

The Climate of the Western United States
Nina Oakley
Western Regional Climate Center
Reno, NV

Thursday,  July 14, 2016 - 1PM EDT 

The Climate of the Southeast U.S.: Geographic Patterns and Trends in Extreme Weather Events
Chip Konrad
Southeastern Regional Climate Center
Chapel Hill, NC


Chip Konrad will introduce the climate of the Southeast U.S., emphasizing how it varies across the region and how it compares with the rest of the country.   He will discuss the different types of extreme weather events that impact the region, including hurricanes, floods, heat waves, droughts and tornadoes.  Specifically, he will reveal trends in the frequency and occurrence of these extremes over the last century.  He will conclude with a short discussion of how the frequencies of these extremes may change over the next century.  

August  2016 - Date TBA

Previous CoCoRaHS WxTalk Webinars
(click on a link below to view a previous WxTalk Webinar)

SEASON ONE -- Webinars 2011 - 2012


Webinar #1 - December 2011
Snow, love it , hate it . . . it still falls on us all!
David Robinson, Rutgers Univ.,
Nolan Doesken, Colorado State Univ.
 Webinar #2 - January 2012
Remote sensing: How weather satellites sense the earth
Arunas Kuciauskas
Naval Research Laboratory
Monterrey, CA 

Webinar #3 -  February 2012
Who Uses Weather and Climate Data and How Do They Do It?
Steve Hilberg
Midwest Regional Climate Center (Retired)
Champaign, IL
  Webinar #4 - March 2012
Understanding and Identifying Clouds
Tom Schlatter
NOAA/Earth System Research Laboratory
Boulder, CO
Webinar #5 - April 2012
Flash Floods: It's More Than a Bunch of Rain

Matt Kelsch
Boulder, CO 
  Webinar #6 - May 2012
Lightning and Its Impacts
Ronald L. Holle
Holle Meteorology & Photography
Oro Valley, AZ 
Webinar #7 - June 2012
Hurricane Analysis and Prediction at the National Hurricane Center

Chris Landsea
NOAA/NWS/National Hurricane Center
Miami, FL
  Webinar #8 - July 2012
Wind and Wildfire - A Dangerous Combination

Liz Page
Boulder, CO 
Webinar #9 - August 2012
Extreme Rainfall, How We Analyze It and How The Data is Used

Bill Kappel
Applied Weather Associates
Monument, CO
  Webinar #10 - September 2012
So You Want to Become a Meteorologist?

Dave Changnon
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 
Webinar #11 - October 2012
When Howling Wolves Greet the Northern Lights

Jan Curtis
Portland, OR
  Webinar #12 -  November 2012
Weather Optics - "There are more 'bows' in the sky than just rainbows"

Grant Goodge
Earth Resources Technology, Inc.
Laurel, MD 
Webinar #13 -  December 2012
Historic Winter Season Weather Events : What's the best of the worst.....

Paul Kocin
NOAA/NWS/Hydrologic Prediction Center
College Park, MD

SEASON TWO -- Webinars 2013


Webinar #14 - January 2013
Flavors of Climate variability: El Nino, La Nina and Recurring Jet Stream patterns
Gerry Bell
College Park, MD
Webinar #15 - February 2013
"Educated Echoes: An Introduction to Doppler and Dual-polarization Weather Radar "

Pat Kennedy
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO 

Webinar #16 - March 2013
"I before E" Except in Drought
Mark Svoboda
Lincoln, NE
  Webinar #17 - April 2013
Forecasting the Ferocious: The How, What, Where and Why of Tornadoes

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK
Webinar # 18 - May 2013
At the Cutting Edge: Harry Wexler and the Emergence of Atmospheric Science

Jim Fleming
Colby College
Waterville, ME
  Webinar #19 - June 2013
Monitoring the Earth's Climate

Deke Arndt
NOAA/National Climatic Data Center
Asheville, NC
Webinar #20 - July 2013
Rainwater Harvesting - Catching and Using It
Billy Kniffen
American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA)
Menard, TX
  Webinar #21 - August 2013
Atlantic basin seasonal hurricane prediction and the forecast for the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season

Phil Klotzbach
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Webinar #22 - September 2013
The Hundred Hunt for the Red Sprite

Walt Lyons
FMA Research, Inc.
Fort Collins, CO
  Webinar #23 - October 2013
Meteorological Instruments -- Everything you wanted to know, but were afraid to ask!

Stephen Burt
Univ. of Reading
Reading, UK 
Webinar #24 - November 2013
Weather Modification: Does the seeding of clouds enhance precipitation? An old question revisited

Bart Geerts
Univ. of Wyoming
Laramie, WY
  SPECIAL WEBINAR - November 2013
"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2013"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK
Webinar #25 - December 2013
Climate Change, Ecology, and Disease Emergence – A Public Health Perspective

Ben Beard
NCEZID Centers for Disease Control
Fort Collins, CO

SEASON THREE -- Webinars 2014


Webinar #26 - January 2014
The Hydrologic Cycle: How River Forecast Centers Measure the Parts

Greg Story
NOAA/NWS/West Gulf River Forecast Center
Fort Worth, TX
Webinar #27 - February 2014
Life as a climatologist – what the heck does a climatologist do?

Ryan Boyles
North Carolina Climate Center
Raleigh, NC

Webinar #28 - March 2014
Keeping an eye on the Blue Marble: How NASA studies Earth’s weather, climate and hydrology from space

Dalia Kirschbaum
NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, MD
  Webinar #29 - April 2014
Air Quality: Local, Regional, and Global Perspectives

Sonia Kreidenweis
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO
Webinar #30 - May 2014
Aviation Meteorology:  All you ever wanted to know . . . topics from what causes clear air turbulence to how airports’ traffic flow is impacted by weather.

Mike Bardou
National Weather Service Chicago/Romeoville
Romeoville, IL

Robb Kaczmarek
NOAA/NWS/Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center
Aurora, IL
  Webinar #31 - June 2014
Waterspouts: The Wet-Whirlwind Cousin to the Tornado

Joseph H. Golden
Golden Research & Consulting
Boulder, CO
Webinar #32 - July 2014
Space Weather:  What is it and why should you care?

Rodney Viereck
NOAA/Space Weather Prediction Center
Boulder, CO
  Webinar #33 - August 2014
Weather CSI - Forensic Meteorology

Pam Knox, CCM
University of Georgia
Athens, GA 
Webinar #34 - September 2014
"A day in the life of a NWS Forecast Office"

John Gordon
National Weather Service Forecast Office
Louisville, KY
  Webinar #35 - October 2014
"Atmospheric Rivers"

Marty Ralph
Center for Western Weather and Water Extremes
UCSD/Scripps Institution of Oceanography
La Jolla, CA 
 Webinar #36 - November 2014
"NOHRSC - The National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center"
Carrie Olheiser
NOAA/National Operational Hydrologic Remote Sensing Center (NOHRSC)
Chanhassen, MN

Webinar #37 - December 2014

"Tsunami Science and Tsunami Warning Systems"
Stuart Weinstein
NOAA/Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
Ewa Beach, HI  
SPECIAL WEBINAR - December 2014
"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2014"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK


SEASON FOUR -- Webinars 2015


Webinar #38 - January 2015
"Avalanches in the US … In a Nutshell"
Simon Trautman
Forest Service National Avalanche Center
Bozeman, MT

Webinar #39 - February 2015
"Agricultural Meteorology:  Layer Upon Layer"
Brad Rippey
Mark Brusberg
Office of the Chief Economist
World Agricultural Outlook Board
Washington, DC

WxTalk Webinar on vacation from
March 2015 - August 2015
   Webinar #40 - September 2015
The history and uses of volunteer weather observations in the United States"
Nolan Doesken Colorado Climate Center, Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO

Webinar #41 - October 2015 
"Introduction to the North American Monsoon"
Chris Castro
Univ. of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

  Webinar #42 - November 2015 
"All You Ever Wanted To Know About Lake-effect Snow”
Thomas Niziol
The Weather Channel, Atlanta, GA

SPECIAL WEBINAR - December 2015
(coming soon)
"A Review of Significant Weather Events Occurring in 2015"

Greg Carbin
NOAA/Storm Prediction Center
Norman, OK 
   Webinar #43 - December 2015  (coming soon)
"Radiosondes, it’s what’s overhead that counts”
Paul Ciesielski
Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO 








SEASON FIVE -- Webinars 2016

Available soon

Webinar #44 - January 2016
Weather Underground: How 130,000 Personal Weather Stations Make a Difference

Bob Henson, Jeff Masters
Weather Underground
Atlanta, GA
Webinar #45 - February 2016
Evolving Outdoor Safety through Preparedness Programs
Charlie Woodrum
NOAA/NWS/National Decision Support Services
National Weather Service Headquarters
Silver Spring, MD

Webinar #46 - March 2016
The Day in the life of a TV Meteorologist
Alan Sealls
Chief Meteorologist, WKRG
Mobile, AL
  Webinar #47 - April 2016
The Climate and Weather of the Midwestern United States
Mike Timlin
Midwest Regional Climate Center
Champaign, IL

Webinar #48 - May 2016
The Climate and Weather of the U.S. High Plains

High Plains Regional Climate Center, Lincoln, NE
  Webinar #49 - June 2016
The Climate and Weather of the Western United States
Nina Oakley
Western Regional Climate Center, Reno, NV
Webinar #50 - July 2016
The Climate of the Southeast U.S.: Geographic Patterns and Trends in Extreme Weather Events
Chip Konrad
Southeastern Regional Climate Center
Chapel Hill, NC
  Webinar #51 - August 2016
Webinar #52 - September 2016

  Webinar #53 - October 2016

 Webinar #54 - November 2016
Webinar #55 - December 2016