[courtesy of https://twitter.com/MurphTWN]
It was indeed a privilege to once again interview Chris Murphy from Canada’s, “The Weather Network” (TWN). If you missed my first interview with Chris back in April, please have a look: TWN’s Chris Murphy: Presenter of All Kinds of Weather!
Chris recently completed what can only be described as the, “Mother Nature of all courses”, a.k.a. a meteorologist program from Mississippi State University. It sounded grueling! I had to ask him more about it:
The meteorologist program was taken online and ran from August, 2014 to August, 2017. It was almost non-stop for the entire three years. He had to complete 17 courses which included math, natural hazards, forecasting, oceans, atmosphere, and what happens on land. Despite the fact he had been reporting the weather for 15 years when Chris started the course, he said he still learned a lot from the program.
A couple of things sprang to mind when hearing about this. I thought, my goodness, how on earth did he work full-time and take classes at the same time for three years! The other thing I found amazing was Chris’s comment about learning a lot from the program! With his weather knowledge already expansive, that really surprised me! He summed up his weather experience and education like this:
His job is to read Mother’s Nature’s mind, and by far she is the most unpredictable force on the face of the earth!
You can say that again, Chris!
[courtesy of https://www.blupela.com/files.php]
I received some interesting weather questions from readers that I wanted to ask Chris. Here is one that (truth be told) was asked by an American: “Do you have an opinion as to why Canadians are more accepting of the concept of ‘global warming’ more than Americans?” Here’s what he said:
It may have something to do with the fact that Canadians live closer to the Arctic. They see the footage about the ice that seems to be getting thinner and smaller every year. Chris is in Toronto, and although he noted that the Arctic seems far away, it probably seems closer than to someone in, for example, Omaha, or Miami. He felt perhaps it was like an, “out of sight out of mind” situation.
I was thinking that if global warming continues at its rapid pace, it won’t be ‘out of sight out of mind’ for Miami in the long run! Ah, but I digress……..
[courtesy of almonds.com]
Another reader asked about the phenomenon known as, “Mediterranean climate”; “Where does it exist on the planet, and what are the natural conditions that have to be present in order to make that particular climate occur?” Chris explained this beautifully:
He described it as a more ‘balanced’ climate for most of the year. The Mediterranean climate (naturally) exists around the Mediterranean Sea, but there is also a bit of it in California, and even coastal British Columbia. There are certain criteria that take place for this to happen: one is that winters have to be so much wetter than during the summer. For example, Greece (or anywhere along the coastline of the Mediterranean Sea) won’t see a drop of rain in the summer. In the winter, there will be some rain. For the West Coast of Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the US, they experience almost ‘monsoon-like’ conditions, where it is very dry in the summer and it seems to rain all the time the other half of the year.
Chris told me that this type of climate tends to be less extreme: the winters are not as cold as the interior of the continent; it’s a little more comfortable if you can put up with the rain. Summers are not as hot and winters not as cool.
I have heard that this is the best climate for humans; what does Chris think?
He said it’s right up there; you can get extreme storms but it’s the temperature fluctuation that can really play havoc on a person’s mind and body so he would not argue against it.
Neither would I, Chris! Neither would I! If it means more good ‘hair days’ for yours truly, I’m there! *Humidity wreaking havoc on my hair does not make for a pleasant Cher!*
[courtesy of cartoonstock.com]
Are you familiar with the weather terms, “El Nino”, and, “La Nina”? I wasn’t exactly clear as to what the phenomenon is all about, so I had to ask Chris. He cleared it up for me! Here’s what he said:
“El Nino”, and, “La Nina” are all about the sea surface temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator (between South America and Australia). El Nino occurs when the water temperature is warmer than normal by about two or three degrees. However, La Nina happens when that same stretch of water is colder than normal by about two or three degrees.
Chris mentioned that El Nino happens about every 2-7 years; La Nina is more infrequent. What this warming or cooling of the ocean does is that it changes the tradewinds through the area.
Normally the trade winds are easterly through that stretch of water. During an El Nino, the trade winds weaken or they can actually become reversed! Chris noted that this has significant consequences for areas affected. For example, in Peru, the water should be cold in the winter; however, with El Nino it becomes warm which has a serious impact on fishing (and consequently on the livelihood for many). Warm water equals less fish!
When Canada experiences a La Nina, it can bring a colder winter, particularly in the western region of the country. British Columbia will have a snowier winter. During an El Nino, it will be a warmer winter and less snow. La Nina circumstances, especially along the California coast will present very dry weather, which is never good news for wild fires in the region. However, it will be warmer and wetter in the South Eastern part of the US.
Chris provided a wonderful, “In a Nutshell” summary:
If an El Nino is coming, you are going to get the opposite weather you should get, and a La Nina you are going to get the weather you should get, but it will be enhanced.
[courtesy of funcork.com]
During my interview with Chris this past April, he provided me with a couple of really funny stories related to his experiences reporting the weather for The Weather Network. I asked him if he had another in his repertoire that he wouldn’t mind sharing. Indeed he did; please have a read:
Something that happened a lot when he first became a weatherman (not as much now) which occurred when he would go into a bar or restaurant. People would recognize him from The Weather Network and say, “How can you show your face in public?” “You are always wrong!” “You are a professional liar!”
After the end of their tirade lambasting him, people would say, “So, what’s it going to be like tomorrow?” Chris said that most of the time it is done with good humor.
Chris posed the following question to himself with a perfect response: “How does it feel to be wrong and show up for work the next day? The answer is: “Well, that is why I became a weatherman.”
Interestingly, Chris mentioned that if you can explain why you got the weather forecast wrong, then people will usually understand. They might even have a better appreciation for weather, and why it often has a mind of its own and quite difficult to predict at times.
It was once again an absolute honor to speak with Chris! At the risk of repeating myself (which I am actually about to do!), Chris is incredibly knowledgeable about the weather that affects us all in one form or another. His sense of humor and approachable, humble demeanor make speaking with him utterly delightful!
Have you ever spoken with someone who loves what they do and is so well-suited for it? That’s Chris.
I want to thank him so much for taking the time out of his extremely busy schedule to speak with me for this interview. I have more questions, so maybe a, “Part 3” sometime?
You can also follow Chris on Twitter at, “@MurphTWN
[courtesy of theweathernetwork.com]