Have you ever heard weather trash talk?
Pablo Santos, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service, Miami contends, “There is no thunder without the heat”.
Mike Foster, meteorologist in charge with the National Weather Service, Norman strongly states “Everyone knows a Thunder storm ends a Heat wave.”
The all-weather NBA Finals Thunder versus Heat is an opportunity to talk a little weather trash, or at least talk about weather in each area and have a little fun, too.
Miami's main weather threats in its coverage area are hurricanes, urban flooding, thunderstorms and freezes that kill tropical crops.
For Norman, it's tornadoes and giant hail, Foster said.
“The plains are beset by periods of drought interspersed with flooding rains, both of which are far less dramatic but can have great impacts,” he said.
What is it about the other guy's job that each meteorologist doesn't envy?
Santos was in Oklahoma City during the May 2011 outbreak. He flew in May 22, the day of the Joplin, Mo., tornado. Santos was attending the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Hazardous Weather Testbed.
“In witnessing the outbreak that followed that Tuesday, I believe around OKC, and participating in the tornado surveys the day after, I was amazed by nature's power,” Santos said. “I was also very impressed by the resourcefulness of the folks in that part of the country and their willingness to help each other out in the aftermath, their calm demeanor and resilience to pick up after the disaster and keep moving forward.”
Santos said he learned that he would not live in Oklahoma City without having an underground storm shelter for the family. In comparison, he wouldn't live in Miami without proper storm shutter or wind impact resistant windows.
“A major hurricane nowadays will not catch you by surprise,” he said. “You will know it is coming at you, and you will have time to prepare and be ready. A tornado is a different animal, and in that sense, can be unnerving. I don't envy that one bit.”
Foster said hurricanes are very large and require warnings over great areas.
“If the storm changes direction, speed or strength there may be large errors in the warning area,” he said. “I think it must be very difficult to explain to people the errors in a forecast or warning.”
And hence the name
Santos said Heat is a good name for the Miami franchise because “that is our signature weather down here in the summer and a good chunk of the year too, hot and humid.”
“Although in terms of frequency of thunderstorms I can make the case for us to be Thunder also,” Santos said. “Tornadoes? That is a different matter.”
And Foster said that in recent years the dramatic media coverage of thunderstorm events associates Oklahoma with thunder.
Both have issued a forecast: Foster calls for “Thunder in six games” and Santos said “Heat in seven” games.