Whether it's a tornado, or just some rain (WeatherBrains!),
—The theme song of WeatherBrains
WeatherBrains is a weekly netcast (recorded typically every Monday evening and published every Tuesday morning) that's all about weather, for those who love weather. First broadcast on January 31, 2006, it covers weather in a fun and informative way, and has featured a number of guests which read like a "Who's Who" of meteorology. The first 54 episodes can be found here, while the rest can be found here. Though traditionally it has been mainly an audio netcast, starting in late 2012 it branched out into video (said video episodes can be found here.). As of early 2016 it has over 500 episodes and counting.
The main cast (as of early 2016) consist of:
- James Spann, the chief meteorologist of ABC 33/40 in Birmingham, Alabama.
- Bill Murray, a meteorologist who has worked alongside Spann for years and is the official weather historian and guest booking officer of WeatherBrains. No known relation to the comedian of the same name.
- Brian Peters, a former meteorologist in the National Weather Service (NWS) who now works as a meteorologist for ABC 33/40.
- Nate Jonson, a meteorologist who works for WRAL, the NBC affiliate in Raleigh, North Carolina.
- Aubrey Urbanowicz, a meteorologist who works for WHSV, the ABC/FOX affiliate in Harrisonburg, Virginia. She also serves as the email officer for WeatherBrains.
- Kevin Selle, a meteorologist who works for KFDX, the FOX affiliate in Wichita Falls, Texas.
- Rick Smith, the Warning Coordination Meteorologist (WCM) for the NWS's Norman, Oklahoma office.
- Dr. John Scala, a meteorologist who works for WGAL, the NBC affiliate in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Previous members of the main cast include:
- J.B. Elliott, a former meteorologist in the NWS who later worked in the private sector (including ABC 33/40), and was a major inspiration for several of the main cast members. He retired from WeatherBrains in 2014 and died on May 11, 2015, of old age (he was 83).
- Berserk Button: For Spann, it's tornado sirens. On the very first episode he mentioned that they were actually very limited in usefulness (you could barely even hear them if you were too far from them or indoors) and they tended to unwittingly promote a tendency in people to not take tornado warnings seriously unless they heard sirens (and perhaps not even then). It's only gotten stronger since, thanks to several high-profile incidents in which people in his television market alone have been killed because they waited for signals from nonexistent sirens.
- Chuck Doswell (a legendary longtime meteorologist and storm chaser who's been a guest on the show several times) tends to go into full-on Caustic Critic mode whenever the topic of bad storm-chasing practices is brought up.
- Cool Old Guy: J.B.
- Executive Meddling: The show's transition to video was made by people who wanted it to be broadcast on cable TV in the Birmingham, Alabama television market.
- Title Drop: The episode titles invert this, as many of them tend to come from remarks made either by the main cast or by guests (many of which are responded to with some variation of "Show title!").
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- The episodes are labled by the month, day, and year when they were published (e.g. "wb013106.mp3" means that it was published on January 31, 2006--the date the first episode was aired.