NBC Connecticut Channel 30 meteorologists Brad Field and Ryan Hanrahan took their show on the road to East Lyme High School last week to give people a behind-the-scenes look at how they do the weather.
Both are self-proclaimed weather geeks who said they wanted to be meteorologists for as long as they could remember. As a kid, Hanrahan used to collect buckets of sleet (he didn't say why) and used to practice giving weather forecasts in the bathroom mirror. Field, who said he originally wanted to be an astronaut, first became interested in the weather after he won the top prize at a science fair for a project on snow.
Their enthusiasm for the weather was contagious and made for an engaging evening as they discussed the latest technology and explained why forecasts based on the same data may vary depending on the meteorologist. Apparently, predicting the weather is as much an art as it is a science, and there's a lot left open to interpretation.
Hanrahan said he was particularly baffled by a rather odd phenomenon he observed on the radar in Old Lyme this fall. He kept seeing what looked like a tornado of debris. The radar information now is so precise, however, that he was able to discern that the swirling mass was biological rather than meteorological. What he was seeing, in fact, were swallows massing before migration.
The highlight of the evening for many of the kids in the audience was to get up in front of the green screen and give their own weather forecast. Apparently, we're in for fits of giggles this week. But by all accounts, it's not uncommon for the meteorologists to crack up on the air either. Click on the video to hear Field and Hanrahan talk about their funniest moments doing the weather.
East Lyme was the third stop for Connecticut NBC 30's Weather Roadshow, which the news channel launched in October. More stops will be scheduled in different towns around the state next year.