Heyooo! Alex Wilson here!

started by AlexWilson, August 10, 2016
62 replies to this discussion
  • Expert Member

    Hi there, fellow weather lovers – I’m Alex Wilson!  For those of you who may watch early in the day, you can catch me on during the evenings (6-8 pm eastern time) on Weather Underground with Mike Bettes.  I’m originally from Pennsylvania but now call Georgia home.  I got my Meteorology degree from Penn State, and before that got degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Marketing from Syracuse University.  I’m a crazy dog lady – I have three pups (don’t worry, they’re all less than 20 lbs!) and am a big fan of pet adoption (both Riley and Henry came from local shelters).  When I’m not here at TWC you may find me at a restaurant, watching reality TV or taking in a wine class!

  • Member

    Hello. I’ve always been fascinated with weather since I was a kid. I’m one of the older crowd and not really into social media or computer savvy. Just thought I would try this out. To begin this venture I will submit one of my least favorite weather terms “Cut off low pressure system”. Bad weather till further notice! When it comes to extreme weather like hurricanes or blizzards I will go outside to check it out. I’ve been watching the Weather Channel since Jim Cantore had hair.

    • Expert Member

      Ha, very true!  That bad weather WILL stick around!  And I love how Cantore’s hair is used as a time measurement 🙂

    • Member

      My name is Robert Plante I live in the upper valley

      Lebanon,N.H. I watch the weather channel every day

      why is the weather so dry this summer 2016? Also it’s

      been a real hot summer 2016 in July 2016 and plus

      August 2016. Are we going to have a lot of snow this

      coming winter 2016+2017? I hope we have rain soon

      time will tell thank you love the weather channel also

      all the wonderful tv staff. ROBERT PLANTE

  • Member

    Hi! I love that you shared about animal adoption! That’s amazing! I also love dogs I have two myself 😀  I also have a question, I am 14 and i really wish to be a broadcast meteorologist. Do you have any tips on becoming one when I am older? Thank you!

    • Expert Member

      Sure!  For starters, take as many math and science (especially physics) classes that you can.  Once you get to college, you’ll see that the meteorology major is full of math and physics.  If you have a school newspaper or newscast, I’d stay get involved in that (if you’d like to be a broadcast meteorologist).  That will get you some great experience learning how to communicate with viewers.  Also, take in as much weather info as you can!  Grab a beginners book (I liked “USA Today: The Weather Book” by Jack Williams and – seriously! – “Weather for Dummies”) and watch a lot of TWC.  Our experts are great at making tough concepts understandable – you’d be surprised how much you’d learn in just a day!

  • Member

    And what breeds of dogs do you have? Dogs are so adorable and awesome 😀

    • Expert Member

      Glad you’re a dog lover too!  Bandit is a Bichon/Cavalier King Charles mix.  My other two pups, Riley and Henry, are both shelter dogs so we aren’t 100% sure of their breeds, but they’re definitely both Shih Tzu mixes (we think Riley has some Dachshund and Henry maybe some Cocker Spaniel).  They’re all small (<20 lbs) and snuggly!  If you follow my Instagram they are almost all I post!! 🙂

    • Member

      @alexwilson, as a dog lover, you should “remind people to help control the pet population.  Have your pets spayed and/or neutered”.  #advicefromThePriceIsRight 🐶🐕💰

  • Member

    Thanks so much for the feedback it helps a lot! I love watching you and the other meteorologists on TWC. All of you make a great show to watch. I watch it all the time it’s the only channel I watch 🙂 And it has so much great info. I’ll diffidently take your advice and take as many of those classes as possible. I’m about to start high school so that helps me a lot. And i’ll make sure to follow your instagram! Shih Tzus are so adorable and sweet! My cousin used to have one named Willow. 😀 That’s also so cool you have a Dachshund! Those little guys are adorable too! I  have a mini schnauzer and a cockapoo (cocker spaniel and poodle mix)

  • Expert Member

    Thank you – your pups sound super-cute too!  Keep up the good schoolwork and you’ll be in great shape!

     

  • Member

    What is an upper level trough? (Explain it to me like i’m 12) Also, what is a dew point? (Again, explain it me like i’m 12)

  • Expert Member

    Hi there!  An upper level trough is simply an area of colder air (lower heights) at levels of the atmosphere well above the surface.  If you looked at the jetstream and saw a dip in the shape of a U that would be a trough.  This would be accompanied by cooler weather, similar to what we had this weekend in the Midwest.

    The dewpoint is the measure of moisture in the air.  Of course, if the temperature falls to the dewpoint we get condensation of water vapor — fog… so it also determines roughly how low the temperature can drop overnight.  It’s a great way to know how humid it is as well – when dewpoints are in the 60s it’s muggier, while when they’re 70 or above it’s very humid and tropical.

    Hope this helps!

  • Hey beautiful Alex( hope you don’t mind the compliment.) My question for you today is  why does Florida NOT seem to have the trade winds that the islands in the Caribbean or West Indies have? Is there is a reason for that? Why is it SO much more humid and often times hotter there than in the islands? I ASSUMED (probably incorrectly) that being a peninsula, and almost surrounded by water on all sides, that Florida would have cooling sea breezes almost year-round and be similar in both temperature and heat index levels to the islands. Am I right, or off course  a bit here? Because I’ve been to both Florida and a few of the islands and the islands are almost always much more comfortable than Florida is. Thanks, and look forward to Weather Underground in about 10 mins. 🙂

    • Expert Member

      That’s a really great question!  You’re right that the cooling sea breezes are helpful, but really only closer to shore.  Yet the Atlantic and Gulf influences keep that high moisture/humidity throughout the entire FL peninsula.  Of course, across the central part of the state the land heats up quickly during the day, you have the high humidity, but don’t really get in on the cooling sea breeze… instead you have to wait for a thunderstorm or outflow to cool things a bit!

  • Member

    Thanks Alex!

  • Member

    I also have some dogs. One is a rottweiler mixed with something else and my other one is a red heeler mixed with something else that I do not know.

    • Expert Member

      Very cool!

  • Member

    I have another question, what is wind shear and why is it so essential for tornadic activity?

    • Expert Member

      Wind shear is a change in wind speed/direction with height through the atmosphere.  When you get the winds at different levels changing direction and speed, that gives you a horizontal rolling motion that eventually, when tilted vertically, would give you a tornadic or rotating storm.

    • Member

      @alexwilson, people can also remember how wind shear appears on the radar.  Greens indicate winds going toward, and reds indicate winds going away.  Hence, the phrase “greens toward, reds away”.  The brighter the greens and reds, the stronger the storms.  #windshearonradar101 😀

  • Member

    Hi Alex.

    Love seeing you on W.U. . Great stuff. I’m like you but I’m a crazy cat man. I’m crippled with R/A and arthritis so my dog days are over but we all need our Fur Babies. And

    • Expert Member

      All fur babies are great!  Glad to hear you enjoy the show!! 🙂

  • Member

    Hey Alex! You’re awesome! You should have your dogs on the show again sometime!

    Question I have is how do landspouts form and they truly considered tornadoes?  Is the formation of a landspout similar to a dust devil?  I live near Chicago and I remember there was a landspout recently, but I don’t recall there being a thunderstorm at the time.

    • Expert Member

      Hi there! Landspouts and gustnadoes often form on the gust front of the thunderstorm, and they are considered tornadoes.  A dust devil forms from the heat of a hot, sunny day.  Thanks for the question — and the dogs would love to be on the show again 🙂

    • Member

      Thank you! I read online that they can also form along a lake breeze boundary, which was the case in the Chicago landspout I was referring to. Plus, the rotation of the funnel originates at the ground.

      I would love for your dogs to be on the show sometime. I’m a dog lover too! I have a collie and golden retriever/corgi mix.

  • Member

    Hi Alex…. I enjoy W.U. as well and find the topics you cover very informative and interesting. I see you went to Penn State…I went to Purdue for aviation and obviously meteorology plays a huge rule in flying. GO BIG TEN!  I have a King Charles Spaniel as well and have seen the mix you mention which is really cute. They are such great dogs. So my question is what advances if any have been made in forecasting or predicting Clear Air Turbulence? That found from the 500mb level and higher. I know that at times it is in the forecast and doesn’t occur and other times it isn’t and does occur. Any thoughts..I know nothing is an exact science. Just curious if you have any knowledge on this subject. Thanks!

    Dana

    • Expert Member

      Hi Dana! Go Big Ten indeed!!  And yes, I think all of Bandit’s “good” traits come from the Cavalier side — whenever he is being stubborn or crazy I blame the Bichon part, haha!  To be honest, I’m not totally sure about advances.  I know it’s still hard to predict perfectly, as seen by the few occurrences of planes/passengers being affected by them.  I’d love for it to be easy – I’m actually afraid of flying (eek!!).  I have a good friend at Southwest Airlines – I’ll have to ask her!

    • Member

      @flyingfast74, attend the University of Oklahoma, the finest school for meteorology in the world, if you are seriously thinking about a career in meteorology.  #BoomerSooner 😀

  • Member

    Hi Alex,

    I’m a big weather fan…lots of “hot air”…ha ha!  Seriously, I have two dogs, a “springer”(springboard) spaniel Hershey,  who is my rescued buddy of nine years.  And my old Cocker, Ranger who will be 15 next month.  Our morning wake-up is to the weather channel, and sometimes our evening go to bed time as well.  Today Hershey and I took the ATV to the top of Copperas Hill in back of our home on this picture perfect summer day.  Earlier today we worked in the garden and noticed that the soil is bone dry, even deep down….shows a lack of persistent rainfall.  I maintain a small weather station in the back of the house to measure wind speed, rainfall, temps, barometer readings, wind chill, heat index and most everything else.  Wish the Weather Channel could mention Northern New England more often…we have ‘Crazy Weather here too”.

    • Expert Member

      Haha, love it!!  Dogs are the best — and I’m so glad they watch TWC with you, too!  Hi to them 🙂  You are right that it’s been really dry up your way – in fact, there are several areas in the NE in severe drought.  We’ll do our best to try and mention you guys more… and now our own Keith Carson is back in your neighborhood (he took a job in Portland, ME).

  • Member

    Hi Alex, I’ve been playing around with a dew point formula.

    DP=T-(.36(100-RH))  T=current temperature  RH=relative humidity

    1. Does this sound feasible?

    2. Is the humidity level given in our forcasts relative humidity?

    Thanks, Ron 🙂

    • Expert Member

      Yes, in the forecast it is the relative humidity.  I’m not sure we need a new heat index calculation but props to you!

  • Member

    Hi Alex, I live in N.E. Ohio and was wondering if any work has begun on the winter forcast.

    (Rex)

    • Expert Member

      Not yet – but our Tom Niziol will be back before you know it!!

  • Hi Alex I love to watch the weather especially WU I’m from originally from upstate NY but live in CT now my question why does the tug hill plateau get more snow than everyone else? And what makes it different from the rest of the state?

    • Expert Member

      Hi there!!  The Tug Hill Plateau is unique in that it sits off of Lake Ontario right in that sweet spot for lake effect snow, and also is at a bit of elevation.  So you get the lake effect snow AS WELL AS a little orographic lift which helps to enhance precipitation.

  • Hi Alex I  have another question  why did the hair on my arm stands straight up during the thunderstorm it happened when I was video taping the storm with my arm out the window. Thx Dan

    • <p style=”text-align: left;”>Hey, @dan.plumber@gmail.com! I know the answer to that! Your hair was sticking up because the air was full of static, due to the thunderstorm. Honestly, if you were outside at the time, you could have been struck by lightning.</p>

  • Member

    Hi Alex. I live back and forth between Conyers, Ga. and Wewahitchka, Fl. If it wasn’t for the Weather Channel and football, I probably wouldn’t own a tv. My question is: are the storms always worse on the western side of a tropical system, and if so, why?

    • Expert Member

      The worst weather is usually on the right front quadrant of the system… this is because the counterclockwise winds and the storm-motion are working together. On the left front quadrant the storm motion is offset by the system’s winds.  Hopefully that makes sense… we’ll be talking about this plenty this week, so tune into Weather Underground if you need more info!  I learn best visually, so the graphics we show really help it makes sense!

    • Expert Member

      PS – I’m glad TWC and football are tied in your book!!  We’re happy to have you watching 🙂

  • Member

    Hi my name is Anthony Aumiller or Tony for short

    I live in Myrtle Beach South Carolina. I love the beach weather. I love the weather in general and Football, College and Pro. I love hunting and fishing and always watch the Weather Channel before I leave the house so I can know what my weather conditions are for the day. Thanks for always putting me in the know what to expect each and every day

     

    • Expert Member

      Thanks for introducing yourself — and we’re so happy to hear we’re a helpful part of your day!  🙂

  • Member

    Hi Alex! I got your email, en couraging me to post weather questions. Well I already did on the website, dealing with the number part of these preliminary hurricane investigations that are done when a potential tropical system is first noticed on the satellite. I know they all start out with the word “invest” and end with an “E” for Pacific systems and an “L” for Atlantic systems, but I am trying to figure out what the number (like the current 99L we have) means.

    I have three dogs here at home in Gaithersburg Maryland, if I can figure it out I will upload pictures of them and perhaps of my backyard weather station. Unfortunately a few years ago verizon in their infinite wisdom took the Weather Channel off their system, so I have not been able to watch the Weather Channel at all the past few years, since before you all started that great weather underground segment in the evenings. I must admit that I do not care for at all these feature programs like “Fat men in the woods” and if I had TWC on my cable I would generally not be watching those shows. I want to see pure weather on TWC, not these reality TV shows that have little to nothing to do with the weather. I watched TWC going back into the 1990s, like you and others were saying when Jim Cantore had hair. I did an online chat with Jim on the old GEnie system way back in the 1980s or early 1990s, chatting with him for probably 1/2 hour. That was really great, and was before Jim really got popular. I would love to see you live on the air, you are quite attractive and know your weather and have great enthusiasm about the subject. Thanks so much for writing me and look forward to your reply here soon. This is my dog Roxy from back in 2011, when she was 2 years old:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10100693343475997&set=t.8635431&type=3&theater

    Here are all 3 of my current dogs, Flash in the foreground and Roxy (brown and white) and Maggie (black and white)) more in the background, in our kitchen.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10105634195084767&set=pb.8635431.-2207520000.1472525748.&type=3&theater

    And here is a picture of me, opening up a new weather station at Christmas back in December 2013:

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10103025205425957&set=pb.8635431.-2207520000.1472526059.&type=3&theater

    And here is my backyard, showing my cocorahs gauge towards the right along the fence,and in the middle left a picture of my vantage pro 2 weather station,  showing all involved except for my anemometer and wind vane which is kind of behind me from where I was taking this picture.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10101546509743957&set=a.10101183355882207.3091787.8635431&type=3&theater

    I hope these links work. If they don’t and I can figure out to edit this msg I will either try to fix the links or remove them if I cannot.

    Hope you all can enjoy these pictures and my descriptions of my station. Hope to see you on-air someday Alex!

     

    • Expert Member

      Very nice to meet you – your dogs are super cute!  I know my dogs are my family so it’s nice to meet our viewers’ “fur babies” too!  Sorry to hear you aren’t able to watch us – especially knowing you’ve been such a big TWC fan (before I worked here I watched all day long, so I wouldn’t have been able to make it without seeing Cantore and team!).  That’s great that you take weather observations, our show Weather Underground often features PWS owners — you’ll have to check out the website and learn more about sharing your info!

      https://www.wunderground.com/weatherstation/overview.asp?cm_ven=PS_GGL_WeatherstationSL_12152015_1&gclid=CIavtv3i6c4CFVUvgQodYkQE1Q

    • Member

      Hi Alex! I hope you know who this is and what message I sent that I am referring to now. You said that I should check out the WU page and register my station. You gave me a link. I followed it and I am already registered with my KMDGAITH11 WU station. I have been registered for a few years now. You should be able to find me on Weather Underground, I report there every day and have my real time data on WU all the time, unless I have a power failure or my system goes down for some other reason which happens occasionally.  I am still waiting to find out what the “99” part means in the term “invest 99L” hurricane investigation. No one has answered me as yet at last check.

      Thanks, I sure wish I could see you on air. You are beautiful! And I would like to see pictures of your cute pooches. You saw mine the other day.

      Kevin

      Gaithersburg Maryland

  • Member
    • Hey Alex. My name is Antonio & I am a big fan of weather underground. My question is will North Carolina have an abnormally cold winter after the hottest summer on record?
    • Expert Member

      Hi Antonio!  Great to meet you!  While we will likely see some cool/cold snaps here and there, the overall trend has been for above-average temperatures.  That’s the expectation of the CPC as we head into at least the fall.

    • Member

      Alex,

       

      Is it too early to say how much above average the temps will get or do you know?

       

      Antonio

  • Member

    Thanks for introducing yourself here Alex and for the weather question email prompt. 🙂

    My name is Kort, I live in FL and have always been interested in the weather and love watching TWC!

    • Expert Member

      Hi Kort!!  Thanks for saying hi – and we are SO glad to have you watching!!

  • Member

    Hi Alex, I’m a new  member and have always loved weather since I was 6yrs old. I went to college for meteorology but unfortunately couldn’t continue due to family obligations.  My question is ; Do you think it would be easier to call snow and rain combination “snain” ?

     

  • Hey ALex 🙂

     

    ANother question: This is more of a climatological question. Approx how far south in the US does a fairly decent amount of snow fall every year, and how far NORTH has consistently hot summers(i.e. 80s and 90s)? Meteorogical extremes, if you will. Just curious. My guess is Central Texas for the 1st, and the Great Lakes region(Southern part) for the 2nd. Tell me if I’m on the ball or not. Thanks

     

    🙂

  • Member

    Hi Alex,

    I want to be a Meteorologist like you when I’m older.

    My Question is:

    Will TD 9 Effect Long Island, NY

  • Member

    Hi Alex,

    I want to be a Meteorologist like you when I’m older.

    My Question is:

    Will TD 9 Effect Southearstern, NY

  • Expert Member

    HI EVERYONE!!  Thanks for all the wonderful questions!  I’m going to do my best to get to as many as I can as soon as I can… but with our very active tropics we are going to be super busy over the next few days!  Hope you’ll be joining us on-air… and again, wanted to let you know I’m not ignoring you!  🙂

    • Member

      Hi Alex is there any chance going into December that Chicago we’ll see any  accumulating snow

  • Member

    Hi Alex!

    I am currently a meteorology major, but boy is it challenging. I am really passionate about the weather and that keeps me going through all of these difficult math courses. The only question I really have is why I need to take so many math classes as technology begins to quickly advance. Everything is essentially calculated for you with models. Is a deep understanding of math truly crucial today in the use of meteorology and broadcasting as it was years ago? How do you use it in your career? I of course understand the importance of using calculations to observe the atmosphere at anytime, but does a meteorologist necesarily need to know those equations in today’s world to broadcast the weather? Just curious!

    Thank you 🙂

  • Member

    Hi Alex,

    I try to catch you as often as I can. You’re very knowledgeable and very attractive ☺

  • Member

    @alexwilson, it is always a pleasure for me to watch you on both The Weather Channel and Weather Underground.  I further appreciate you for signing and mailing me a picture of you.  What a cool gesture from you!  #twcclassact 😎

    Is there any way that I can get more autographs from other TWC meteorologists mailed to me?  If so, then how about from @kcass, @stephanieabrams, @dewpointdiva, @maria-larosa, @liana-brackett, and Dr. @twcerikanavarro?  I would really appreciate that!  #ilovemytwcgirls ☀️☁️⛈💦🌬💨🌪

    Am I correct that you are from Macungie, Pennsylvania?  If that is the case, then you are the most popular person to come from that city.  #famousalexis 🙋

  • Member

    What are tropical funnel clouds by the way I know that this is 2 years old

  • Hi Alex! I love watching Weather Underground in the afternoons because it’s like Weather Center Live, but with different people who do some different things. I’m a young aspiring weather lover myself, and this may seem a little crazy, but how many weather stations do you have? And did you name them like Mike Bettes did?

Reply to Heyooo! Alex Wilson here!

X

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