It has been a while since my last update. Things got kinda crazy as I will detail below. After a nice day enjoying the warm weather in Anchorage (knowing this will be our warmest weather for a while) we boarded out 11:35pm redeye to Denver. I don’t like red-eyes and avoid them whenever possible. It was not possible in this case and I spent the flight watching Crazy Rich Asians and trying to get any sleep I can, which was about two. After the 5 1/2 hour flight we are back in Denver where we were greeted with a glorious sunrise. The flight back to Chicago was on one of my favorite planes, the 757-300. This is the largest narrow-body (single aisle) United flies. Its like the engineers turned it up to 11 :).
The flight from Denver was smooth and early, all you can ask for! We came in over the lake which had developed an impressive layer of ice since Left. Quick Uber ride home and the rest of the day was left to recovery. I managed to go for a walk and survived with only a 2 hour nap. We had a nice little snow system due in the area. It was one of the quick but impactful systems which produced snowfall rates up to 2 inches an hour. We got about 5 inches out of the system. I love it when kids walk to School so I am militant about clearing snow, I do about 20 houses worth of pavement, right up to where Isabelle crosses the road.
After clearing on Monday morning I settled in to get some work done and, since I had missed several weekend days, get in some home brewing! This is where things got… interesting. I received an email from WBEZ’s morning Shift’s senior producer. Seems they found my Blog… Yes… THIS blog! Given that, as I said in the previous entry, we were basically riding the jet-stream back to Chicago along with a dangerous cold system, WBEZ wanted to discuss this cold, the Meteorology behind it and how we dressed for the cold in Utqiagvik, Alaska. I had done quite a few media engagements, mainly stemming from an award I received from Popular Science Magazine back in 2013. But I was yet to head into the studio to do it in person. After clearing it with our public relations team at Argonne (who are amazing and very helpful) I started writing facts and figures down about the weather we faced in Utqiagvik, what was coming to Chicago and the historical context.
The interview was scheduled to be in the 9am hour so I made sure I took one Metra earlier than I needed. The temperature was already crashing and trains in Chicago do not cope so well with the cold. After an Uber from Union station this NPR Geek arrived in Public Radio Nirvana, WBEZ studios on Navy Pier. After chatting to Daniel, another producer, Meha shepherded me into the studio. Jenn White, host of the Morning Shift, was seated at a table and I could only hear her speaking.. Fortunately Meha pointed out I needed to put on the headphones to hear the radio show itself.
The radio show was a lot of fun. Due to working with minors I could not talk about our work with the students at The Middle School and give the team due credit but we had a lot of fun talking jet streams, weather, Utqiagvik and the cold spell about to grip my adopted city of Chicago. You can find a write up of the story here. One correction though, I did not teach, The Teacher (I can not use his name) was the teacher and Meridith and John were the curriculum team (I think I have made that clear in my blog). But, everyone wants to talk about the weather and, well, I can talk. I hope the education team gets a chance to talk all about their amazing research once the work is done and published. This is my final post on my trip north! Now back to reality, the wonderful reality of an amazing job working for ARM, Argonne and the United States Department of Energy and doing amazing open science.