This afternoon’s cuppa: Hazelnut coffee

Even in sunny Southern California, we can have severe weather. Don’t believe me? Click here and here for the proof. It not only rains in Southern California, it snows, man, it snows.

Newton_Wimer_Stephanie_Abrams_WeatherProof.jpgStarting Sunday, Jan. 24, at 9 p.m. ET/PT, The Weather Channel premieres “Weather Proof,” a new series that tests the limits of ordinary objects using simulations of extreme weather conditions.

A la “MythBusters,” the show takes on some urban legends and unlikely scenarios, but it also wants to give people solid advice on weather-proofing their homes and lives.

The co-hosts are (in photo, on right) veteran meteorologist Stephanie Abrams (also the co-host of TWC’s “Wake Up With Al” and “Your Weather Today”) and (in photo, on left) Newton Wimer, and together they guide viewers through scenarios like tornadoes and floods to camping and tough winter conditions.

I shot Abrams a few questions, and she was kind enough to respond. See below:

Q: People
talk a lot about what may or may not happen with the climate in the years to
come, but it’s the weather that affects people’s lives most on a daily basis.
Do you think we sometimes underestimate or fail to consider the effect of


Yes, we underestimate the weather and never think severe weather will happen to
us.  If a rainy day turns into a flash flood, we think it will not affect
us. We don’t expect the worst of Mother Nature which makes us unprepared for
what is to come. 


Q: If you
could change one thing about houses in hurricane zones, what would it be?


Homes in hurricanes zones should be built property with the right types of
windows, garage doors, roofs and shutters that are built to withstand high
winds, rain and debris. People that live in hurricane zones should also be
prepared to leave their homes when the threat worsens and have an emergency kit
with food and supplies.


Q: Same
question in tornado-prone areas.


For tornado-prone areas, it’s very important for people to seek underground
shelter or move to the innermost room with no windows. Again, be
prepared, have a plan and a supply kit handy.


Q: Same question
in blizzard-prone areas.


In case of a blizzard, homes should have proper insulation and windows installed
that help protect and keep homes warm. If power is lost, use a generator but
not too close to the house. When clearing snow off the roof or ice in the
driveway, be sure to use the proper equipment and tools. When clearing snow off
cars, be sure to remove snow from the roof to prevent snow from sliding down
and obstructing your view while driving. 


Q: With
people commuting long distances and traveling more for business, has the impact
WeatherProof_Weather_Channel.jpg weather intensified over the days when many people could walk or take a
short drive to work?


Weather will slow you down no matter the distance or how you commute.
Temperatures and conditions outside greatly impact our commute every day.
Trying to catch a flight when there’s a thunderstorm or driving a short
distance to work on icy roads or in a flash flood all play into how powerful
weather plays in our commute.


Q: Many
people move south or southwest to escape severe weather. Do they find it there


Yes, extreme weather is everywhere and in each quadrant of the U.S. For the
Southwest, the extreme heat is what should be taken into consideration. Out West, there are mudslides and earthquakes; the Southeast deals with hot, humid
temperatures in addition to hurricanes.


Q: At what
time did weather most impact your life?


A: Hurricane Andrew impacted me most. That happened when I was a kid and
was when I initially got interested in weather. I remember watching and seeing
the destruction and was curious about how and why wind and rain could cause so
much destruction.

Posted by:Kate O'Hare