Episode #0020 - "How Do Ocean Currents Affect the Weather?"

Episode #0020 - "How Do Ocean Currents Affect the Weather?"

Our first episode where all three co-hosts are in the same studio for recording! On this week's episode we discuss how the GOES-16 weather satellite is progressing, the recent severe weather outbreak in the mid-west, a check-in on the rainfall and drought in California, the weird winter we've been having, and we cover our main topic of ocean currents and how they affect the weather.

Episode #0019 - "What Does A Meteorologist Actually Do?"

Episode #0019 - "What Does A Meteorologist Actually Do?"

On this week's episode, Becky, Jimmy, and Joel welcome guest Steve Travis, a meteorologist for Accuweather on the show to talk about the recent storms that have impacted the west coast, and lightened California's drought conditions. Steve also talks about what his typical day is like as a weather forecaster vs. what people perceive he does.



Show Notes!

Episode #0018 - "The 2016 Snow-verview"

Episode #0018 - "The 2016 Snow-verview"

On this week's show Jimmy, Becky, and Joel take a walk down the memory lane of significant weather events in 2016, of which Snowzilla is the most memorable. It was also a year full of flood events, both tropical and non-tropical in nature. We take a look ahead to 2017 and how La Nina might shape the weather in the coming year. 


Show Notes!

Topic: The weather of 2016-year in review + La Nina

Our predictions for 2017:

  1. Jimmy says its the year of fog
  2. Becky is skeptical and wants data

Winter 2016-2017 season snowfall predictions for nearest reporting station: 

  • Joel says Dulles 42”
  • Jimmy says Dulles 36”
  • Becky says Penn State 38”

Princess Leia' Life Day Song from the Star Wars Holiday Special.

Debbie Reynolds sings "Good Mornin'" in Singing In The Rain




Episode #0017 - "2016 Tornado Season Review"

Episode #0017 - "2016 Tornado Season Review"

On this week's show Jimmy, Becky, and Joel welcome back Katie Wheatley as well as a new guest, Ian Livingston to recap the 2016 Tornado season. We talk about how El Nino affected tornadoes in the US this year, how this year compares to previous years, and what the biggest outbreaks were.  We also have brief follow-up on coral bleaching in the Great Barrier Reef as well as news that GOES-R is now GOES-16.


Show Notes!


Topic: The 2016 Tornado Season

Episode #0016 - "It's GOES-R, Not Gozer"

Episode #0016 - "It's GOES-R, Not Gozer"

Episode #0015 - "The After-Matthew"

Episode #0015 - "The After-Matthew"

On this week's show, our intrepid trio discuss the recent Hurricane Matthew. We review how the storm was forecasted, the impact it made on Haiti, Cuba, the Bahamas, and the United States. 


Show Notes!


Topic: The aftermath of Hurricane Matthew

Gifs we mentioned in the show:

Episode #0014 - The Storms of the Century

Episode #0014 - The Storms of the Century

On this episode, we begin a deep-dive on some of the most devastating hurricanes (officially-named storms only) of the last century. From Camille in '69 to Sandy in '12 (that's a weird way to write that), we look at the impacts these storms had on human life, our economy, governance, emergency response, and the culture. This one's less goofy than other one's we've done, but there's some damn-fine analysis and Wikipedia reading going on. Also, Becky explains why these storms behaved the way they did, and since she knows what she's talking about, you'll probably learn a lot!


Small topics, News, & Follow-up:

Astrological vs Meteorological Seasons

  • Joel thinks Astrological seasons are stupid and we should all just agree to follow Meteorological seasons.
  • Jimmy thinks Joel is anti-galaxy. 

Heavy Rain Event in D.C. Region Wednesday - Friday

  • DC Metro area, and parts of the east coast are in a rain deficit over the last couple of months.
  • This event has the potential to make up a lot of that rain shortfall
  • Potential flooding if the event verifies on the larger side of what the models are estimating

Tropical Storm Matthew

  • The track of the storm has a lot of potential for strengthening.
  • Should continue west until this weekend and then make a turn to the north.
  • Question is: Will it turn sooner, and hit Haiti, or will it turn later, miss Jamaica and hit Cuba (and then Florida later on)

Main Topic: Most “Impactful” Hurricanes in modern history

Hurricane Camille

Hurricane Hugo

Hurricane Raymond

Hurricane Hazel

Hurricane Andrew

Hurricane Isabel

Hurricane Ivan 

Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Rita

Hurricane Wilma

Hurricane Sandy

“The Semi-Hospitable Beach House and You” by Jimmy Marks

Closing music: "Hurricane" from the musical Hamilton

Episode #0013 - If it is more than 5 days out, there is no need to shout!

Episode #0013 - If it is more than 5 days out, there is no need to shout!

The peak of hurricane season is upon us! We discuss some of the storms going on at the time of this recording, as well as some basics about tropical systems. How they work, what sizes they can be and what storm surge is.

Episode #0012 - "alt.universe.weather"

Episode #0012 - "alt.universe.weather"

On this week's show, we discuss microbursts, recent flooding, the beginning of hurricane season, "rain bombs", and our recent heat wave. Also, Jimmy doesn't accept that we've exhausted all possible planets we could live on...


Show Notes!

Recent Weather News

Topic: Alternative Universe Weather


This week's outro is ""If you Luke father west....if you're Wookiee" Today's Star Wars weather" courtesy of this video.

Episode #0011-"Methane in The Sky, With Diamonds!"

Episode #0011-"Methane in The Sky, With Diamonds!"

In a twist on the normal discussion of weather on Earth, the crew of Ice Station Housman takes a journey through the solar system to see what other planet's weather is like. 

The main goal: to determine which planet humans can relocate to in the unfortunate case of Earth becoming inhabitable. 

Show Notes!

Introductions- The gang's all here! Joel, Jimmy and Becky tackle the complexities of space together. 

Topic: Other Planet's Weather


This week's intro music is "Lucy In The Sky, With Diamonds" by The Beatles.

Our outro music is "Life On Mars?" by David Bowie.

This episode's background image courtesy of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. The image was taken by Hubble. Read more information about the photo.


Episode #0010 – "All Over the Map"

Episode #0010 – "All Over the Map"

This week Becky, Jimmy, and Joel are joined by Katie Wheatley, GIS mapping expert, to talk about mapping the weather.

Show Notes


Katie's bio on USTornadoes.com

Today's Topic: Mapping the weather.

This weeks outro-music is "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Episode #0009 - "Right Round Like A Record, Baby"

Episode #0009 - "Right Round Like A Record, Baby"

On this week's show we discuss the four day severe weather outbreak from earlier last week as well as what YOU should do in the event of a tornado warning. Jimmy is out this week, so Becky and Joel review a blog post she wrote in early 2015 covering the topic of tornado safety. We also cover the discussion that popped up this week related to the old vs new method for rating tornado severity and highlight a number of intense videos from the past week's storms.

Show Notes!

Introductions - Jimmy is out this week at a conference and was unable to co-host - so its just Becky and Joel.

Topic: Tornado Safety

Scary Tornado Videos From This Outbreak

Also, after we finished recording this episode, USTornados.com did a big writeup specifically about the Katie, OK Tornado.

This week's outro music was "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record) by Dead or Alive.



Episode #0008 - "Wikipedia Checks Out"

Episode #0008 - "Wikipedia Checks Out"

This is it...the next chapter in Ice Station Housman's history begins with a bang as Becky Elliott,  real-life-no-fooling meteorologist and severe weather junkie joins Joel and Jimmy as a full-time host! Huzzah!

Becky gives us an insider's perspective on storm chasing - the good, the bad, and the ugly. Plus, Joel gloats over his LaserDisc copy of Twister, Jimmy makes his demands, and the hyperloop tube back to Virginia adds a second stop in Pennsylvania.

Episode #0007 - "The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas"

Episode #0007 - "The Sun Is A Mass of Incandescent Gas"

This week on the show we discuss seasons, why they occur, and how they affect us. We also cover a bit of follow-up about a major coral bleaching event currently underway in the Great Barrier Reef due to El Niño. Also, why Winter Is Coming and the spike in DVD sales of the movie "Twister".

Thanks @tiffanyarment

Thanks @tiffanyarment

Photo credit: "Sediment over the Great Barrier Reef" by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

Episode #0006 - "Miles Long, Meters Wide"

Episode #0006 - "Miles Long, Meters Wide"

This week we talk about Tornados! What are they? How do they form? Do they have Sharks in them? We're joined once more by Becky Elliott, who explains Tornados to us, and how they work.

Show Notes!


Tornados: a Primer

How do tornadoes form

The F-scale


The Feb. 26 Tornado in Tidewater VA

  1. Tornado’s aren’t just in the plains...

  2. National Weather Service Review of this event

  3. The path

  4. The damage

  5. Jimmy’s first and third-hand accounts of the destruction

  6. What to do in the event of a Tornado


The "evil meteorologist convoy" from Twister (look at that GMC RV in the back!!!)

Outro music, "Shania Twain - No One Needs To Know" from the Twister Soundtrack.

(Apparently the music video was shot in the house that you saw in the movie Twister that they "aunt"(?) lived in).

Photo credit: "GPM's 3-D View of Storm's Moisture From the Atlantic Ocean" from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.



Episode #0005 - "Know Your Snow"

Episode #0005 - "Know Your Snow"

This week on the show, El Nino follow-up, listener feedback questions, and winter precipitation. What is the difference between sleet and hail? What is Graupel? What exact atmospheric conditions cause freezing rain? We cover all the answers to these questions and others you might have about winter precipitation.

Episode #0004 - "The Before-math and the Aftermath"

Episode #0004 - "The Before-math and the Aftermath"

Harken back to a simpler time: January, 2016. Snowzilla (“Winter Storm Jonas” if you’re a weenie) was bearing down on the DC Metro area. Thrill at this tale of yesteryear as Joel and Jimmy consult actual meteorologist Becky Elliott about the storm, the hard work that goes into predicting major weather events, professional liability in meteorology, and driving in the snow for…fun? What? That’s ridiculous.


Jimmy and Joel recap the storm a few days after and decide once and for all if liking severe weather events (esp. blizzards) is elitist.

BONUS FEATURE: Jimmy, sighing dejectedly as Becky and Joel talk about how much they love snow.



“Let It Go” by Idina Menzel, from the movie ‘Frozen’

[Image Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, "Blizzard Bears Down on U.S. East Coast"]

Episode #0003 - "Sharknado 5: ¡Shark-ñata!"

Episode #0003 - "Sharknado 5: ¡Shark-ñata!"

This week's episode is remarkable for three reasons:

  1. Jimmy no longer has laryngitis
  2. We cover many popular weather myths
  3. We have a guest!

Not just any guest, mind you: Tiffany Arment! Yes, THE Tiffany Arment! Not just A Tiffany Arment!

We cover all kinds of myths:

  • Does lightning strike the same place more than once? Yes, of course. Sometimes, it strikes the same guy many times (a guy who later committed suicide over unrequited love, a fact unknown to the hosts and their guest at the time of recording).
  • Is it a good idea to hide under an overpass during a tornado? No, it's not, don't do that.
  • Does salt melt ice? It keeps it from forming, but it won't melt it outright. 
  • Are Tiff and Jimmy best friends now? You bet your ass, they are.

There's a lot to cover, so get to listenin'! Stop believing myths! Start believing facts! Don't get hit by lighting seven times!

Show Notes!

Tiffany Arment can be found at:

Top Four podcast

Tiffany Arment photography

Some Famous Hurricanes

Hurricane Hugo

Hurricane Gloria

Hurricane Fran

Lighting Strikes, Maybe Once, Maybe Twice...

Lighting Strike Scars

Roy Sullivan, park ranger

"He died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the age of 71 over an unrequited love."


I Haven't the Foggiest Idea...

Myth: Fog “burns off”

Russian Face Heat Solutions and You


Lifehack: Don't Let Your Pipes Freeze

Jimmy's Pipe Burst Story

From the Ombudsman

  • (The word Jimmy meant to use was “petrified”, not “mortified”)
  • There are a gazillion articles about weather myths, many of which have many of the same myths listed. Joel pulled most of the myths featured in the show from here.
  • The closing music for this week wasn't mentioned in the broadcast. It is "Lightning Strikes" by Lou Christie. A very fun song about lighting and how it strikes and strikes again.
  • Image credit: "Leiden Lighting" by Carolina Ödman


Episode #0002 - "A Fully Armed and Operational Weather Station"

Episode #0002 - "A Fully Armed and Operational Weather Station"

This week on the show, we talk about Jimmy's new Farmer's Almanac and how accurate it has been for the month of December. We also talk about weather stations: what they are, the many places you can find them, and different types of personal weather stations you can get for yourself.  We also cover some of our favorite weather apps and websites we think you might find useful. Joel is preparing for the weather in July. Jimmy sounds like a lifelong sword swallower who gargled with rock salt. Check your funometer, there's a podcast a-comin'! 

Show Notes!

What are weather stations?

Historial weather data for National Airport (DCA) for December 2015

Different personal weather stations we talked about:

Smart Weather Stations

Joel's favorite, the Netatmo:

Elgato's HomeKit compatible Eve Weather outdoor sensor:

Dumb Weather Stations

Listings of hundreds of "old school" style, non "smart" weather stations on Amazon

  • I would do lots of research and comparisons of reviews before buying any of these as I don't have a good recommendation for any of them. The one I mentioned I own is several years old, and its model has been discontinued. It was made by Ambient Weather.

Portable Weather Devices

The portable, handheld weather meters Jimmy talked about:

Antique Weather Stations

A good example of one of the cool, anitque-style weather clock/barometer/thermometer that we talked about on the show with a "glass".

Various smartphone and desktop apps we talked about:


Today Weather


NOAA Hi-Def Radar

Some of Joel's favorite weather websites:

Weather.gov's Conus Full Mosaic Radar Loop

Weather Undergound's Full Screen Radar Map w/ Weather Station Data



United States Wind Map

Global Earth Wind Map

Episode #0001 - "The Niño!"

Episode #0001 - "The Niño!"

Joel and Jimmy kick off the series with an episode about El Niño, that mysterious shift in warm ocean water that drives the whole planet bonkers every 2(ish) to 7(ish) years. They reflect on tiny changes and big effects, as well as how weather science (and science in general) is often a coin flip; heads is disaster, tails is disappointment.

Also: will we have a white Christmas? (Spoiler: for most of you, probably not)

If you would like to sponsor Ice Station Housman, let us know

Jimmy and Joel are both on the Internet, a series of tubes that good people use to do honest work and that bad people use to troll teenagers who do makeup tutorials on YouTube. 

Show Notes!


El Niño on Wikipedia

What are El Niño and La Niña? from NOAA. 

Chris Farley's El Niño skit on Saturday Night Live.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration El Niño Portal


Wunderground's El Niño Blog (A truly excellent blog)

What does El Niño mean for the 2015-2016 Winter by Weather.com

November El Niño update: It’s a small world from climate.gov.

Historical White Christmas Chances

Weatherbell.com - a truly excellent, but premium, weather model products site.

El Niño and the Galápagos from climate.gov (we forgot to talk about this in the show, but there is some very cool information here. Check it out).

By one measure, this wicked El Niño is the strongest ever recorded: What it means by Capital Weather Gang (Check out the video in this post - only takes about 3 minutes to watch but does a very good job of giving you a quick, high level explanation of El Niño).

Is the near-record El Niño already chipping away at the California, western drought? by Capital Wearther Gang.

This remarkably strong El Niño has topped yet another significant record by Capital Weather Gang.

Past weather patterns highlight the difference between snow boom or snow bust during a strong El Nino in D.C. by Ian Livingston.

Survey photos reveal damage of this year’s global coral bleaching event from climate.gov

US Drought Monitor Website

El Nino brings 2nd venomous sea snake to California beaches from the Oregonian (another item we forgot to cover. Still, cool though so check it out).