Susan Lirakis

With winter weather on the way, NHPR's Chris Martin sat down to talk to meteorologist Tony Vazzano, who specializes in mountain weather and snow. His company, North Winds Weather, provides specialized weather reports to ski areas across northern New England.

Tom Purves via Flickr Creative Commons

The polar vortex?  Frost-quakes?  Winter Storm "Hercules"?  Winter weather forecasts have had a decidedly apocalyptic ring to them as of late. And yes, it did get pretty darn frigid last week... but how cold was the polar vortex compared to previous cold snaps?  We asked Jason Samenow, Weather Editor for the Washington Post to help us understand the sensationalism inherent in winter weather forecasting.


Computers have long been outperforming humans in complex tasks, including predicting the weather. Weather junkies are accustomed to telegenic meteorologists making predictions in front of dynamic maps. Where they get their data is stirring up a little storm system in the field. Producer Jon Lynch has the story.

Tonight is a good night for a meteor shower. The Lyrids aren't known for their flashy shows, but this year they're getting help from a new moon.

The dark skies will be "ideal for meteor watching from the ground," NASA says.

Kelly Beatty, senior contributing editor for Sky and Telescope magazine, tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon the best views are from the darkest places.