Weather and Training with Atmospheric Scientist Brad Wells

In this episode of the Making Strides Podcast AJ and Adam talk to Brad Wells. He studied atmospheric science at CSU and works in meteorology. Naturally, they discussed all things weather so that you can best know what is coming your way and prepare. Also discussed, are the infamous inversions and how accurate our watches are at measuring altitude and incoming storms.

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Some of our highlights:

“5 days can give you a fairly accurate picture of what may happen, but beyond that, you are looking at a very broad brush stroke. It really depends on the season as well.”

“Shoulder seasons, spring and fall, get pretty difficult [to predict] beyond 4-6 days.”

“Basically all weather apps are using the same forecast data…If you are looking at your iPhone weather app, it is likely putting out one model with no human skill involved and giving you info based on your latitude and longitude. This is accurate…but I do still believe there is a true human element to forecasting.”

“Tailor what you are looking for based on what bugs you when you run or what you need to train for.”

“Over the past few years, one thing that gets unnoticed is air quality…Running in high Ozone can be pretty bad for your lungs. Try to run when those air quality issues are minimized, like in the morning.”

“A big rule of thumb when above treeline, I like to have been summited and on my way back down around noon.”

“I love having weather play an integral role in that [trail running]. Running through a blizzard on trails I have run a million times feels completely different even if I am a mile from my house I feel like I am in the middle of nowhere. It’s one of those things where if you do it safely and embrace the weather you’re experiencing on your run and can make it part of why you like it.”

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