“Do meteorologists suppress thunderstorms?”-Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc., 2005

In view of the serious consequences of missed rainfall in an Arizona summer, and being a meteorologist, I felt it was important to address a longstanding question among fellow meteorologists, to clear the air, as it were, about what my role might have been in the deflection of massive storms that appeared to be coming to Catalina, but then dissipated mysteriously.  Perhaps this investigation will shed light on the three recent consecutive missed days with no major rains in Catalina while major rains fell very nearby.

There have been some rumors and innuendoes.

Perhaps if a butterfly flapping its wings in Brazil can affect the weather (eventually) in Texas (from “chaos theory” where itty bitty things can mess everything up), perhaps my excessive running around in the yard taking photographs of giant clouds could have had an effect, changing the airflow in some counterproductive way.

In pursuit of truth, I am providing my three readers with some intellectual, philosophical material to consider today; this research published in a respectable peer-reviewed journal, the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (aka, Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc.,  or just “Bull.”, for short).  This article is in the same philosophical domain as that article in Physics Today (I think it was) many years ago: “Can watching the Mets play baseball (on television) affect the outcome of the game?1

Please contemplate this article below today, and then look into your own heart about how YOU yourself might have been deflecting storms.  Maybe there aren’t any studies out there answering that question yet, and so we don’t know do we? But…..

Do Meteorologists Suppress Thunderstorms?


While a quite technical, comprehensive article in which meteorologists in 28 cities around the US were examined for their effect on storms.  If you don’t believe MY answer,  the gist of this article is on p353:

“According to our data and methods, a meteorologist’s hometown is no more likely to be a weather hole or hot spot than is any random place around the conterminous United States.”

I guess that settles that…or does it?

(X-Files, Twilight Zone, etc., music here (11 11_Extraordinary Claims 1)2.


The weather ahead

The Canadian model has us on the edge of rain for another two-three days, then the summer rain season resumes.  Similarly, the WRF-GFS model run from the U of WA has rain moving back into our area this Saturday afternoon.  Maybe I’ll run around the house a couple of times. move some air around, and see if I can speed this return up some….

Anomalous cloud sighting

6:30 PM. This photo has been enhanced that bit to bring that “lone ranger” Cu better into view.

Now this was truly strange, I thought, in view of the totally flat, Cumulus “pancake-us” clouds.  Off in the far horizon to the SW, was this ONE towering Cumulus!  Not sure I have seen such a cloud anomaly, and not really sure why THAT one stuck up so much.  You’d have to guess that the moisture and temperature profile down that way was quite abit different that what we had here, but then, you would normally have seen many more clouds like that off on the horizon.  Strange indeed, to me.  There it is.








1Haven’t been able to find that classic, but will eventually.

2Credit:  The National Science Foundation for funding Bill Nye the Science Guy programs, and to the Walt Disney Studios for creating those wonderful liittle ditties at the end of each show.

By Art Rangno

Retiree from a group specializing in airborne measurements of clouds and aerosols at the University of Washington (Cloud and Aerosol Research Group). The projects in which I participated were in many countries; from the Arctic to Brazil, from the Marshall Islands to South Africa.