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Playlist: Extreme Weather

Compiled By: PRX Editors

 Credit: <a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-99956p1.html">Fesus Robert</a>
Image by: Fesus Robert 
Curated Playlist

For when the weather outside is frightful. Tornadoes, hurricanes, storms, and droughts. Stories about men and women vs. nature.

These are picks chosen by PRX editorial staff.

A Silent Tornado, A Long Black Night

From Third Coast International Audio Festival | Part of the 2012 ShortDocs: Neighbor Stories series | 02:14

Virginia Miller and her husband Tim recount the night a tornado hit Apison, Tenn., and how it changed their relationship with their neighbors.

Sd12_black_miller_small Virginia Miller and her husband Tim recount the night a tornado hit Apison, Tenn., and how it changed their relationship with their neighbors.

"A Silent Tornado, A Long Black Night" was produced by Mary Helen Miller for the 2012 Third Coast ShortDocs Challenge, a collaboration with EveryBlock, which invited anyone and everyone to produce short audio works featuring at least two neighbors, a color in the title, and three consecutive seconds of narrative silence. 

Portrait of Survivors of the 2013 Moore, Oklahoma Tornado

From This Land Press | Part of the The Sound of Our Land series | 05:55

On Monday, May 20th, 2013, a tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people.

_bri3226_-_version_2_small On Monday, May 20th, 2013, a tornado tore through Moore, Oklahoma, killing at least 24 people.

What do you mean, "We?"

From The humble Farmer | 01:38

Divorce and tornadoes

Humbleoats_small If possible, deal with them both in the same day

Remembering Andrew

From WLRN | 58:31

20 years ago today (August 24th) Hurricane Andrew turned South Florida upside down. In this hour-long documentary, WLRN uses home videos, archival news footage, 911 calls, personal recollections and even a bureaucratic document from the British consul general in Miami to tell the story of Hurricane Andrew.

The documentary follows two main characters each changed by the storm in their own profound way: Jenny Del Campo, a typical teenager living in southern Dade County and Bryan Norcross, a TV weatherman.

Playing
Remembering Andrew
From
WLRN

Remembering_andrew_small 20 years ago today (August 24th) Hurricane Andrew turned South Florida upside down. In this hour-long documentary, WLRN uses home videos, archival news footage, 911 calls, personal recollections and even a bureaucratic document from the British consul general in Miami to tell the story of Hurricane Andrew. The documentary follows two main characters each changed by the storm in their own profound way: Jenny Del Campo, a typical teenager living in southern Dade County and Bryan Norcross, a TV weatherman.

Seek Shelter

From David Weinberg | Part of the Random Tape series | :47

A recording of a tornado siren in a park in St. Louis, MO.

Random_tape_logo_600x600_small A recording of a tornado siren in a park in St. Louis, MO.

Surviving a Tsunami: The story of Valdivians in 1960

From Terrascope Radio | Part of the Terrascope Radio Major Features series | 09:38

A college freshman travels to Chile and interviews survivors of the 1960 tsunami/earthquake.

Chilecoastsmall_small In 1960 the city of Valdivia, Chile, was the site of the most powerful earthquake in recorded history--9.5 on the Richter scale. Soon afterward the region was flooded by a devastating tsunami. Nearly 50 years later, Rodrigo Zeledon was in a group of students that traveled to Chile to learn first-hand about the disaster and its continuing impact on the city and region. In this story, he speaks with survivors of the event and hears what it was like for them and what they have learned from the city's recovery. Their stories are moving, dramatic and, ultimately, uplifting. Highlights include: --An interview with an 80-year-old woman who still vividly recalls seeing her own house float past as she stood on a hillside waiting to learn what would remain of her village. --The story of a survivor who as a young girl was on a ship in the harbor when the tsunami struck, and who now remembers being pulled back and forth by the violent currents, just missing falling into a crater that had opened up in front of the ship--but who cannot remember how she ultimately survived. --Reflections from a woman who went for refuge, with her husband and young children, to an island in the middle of the city, and who now believes that the disaster eventually brought more good than harm. This piece is an excerpt from the longer program, "Valdivia: Stories of Survival," which is also available from PRX.

Catching the Wave: The West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center

From Rebecca Sheir | 04:27

A visit to one of America's two tsunami warning centers... and a lesson that just might save your life.

Tsunami_small For most of its history, the United States lacked facilities dedicated to alerting the public about tsunamis. Then in 1949, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center was built in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. But after the 1964 Good Friday earthquake rocked Alaska and sparked a number of devastating tsunamis in Prince William Sound, Congress provided funds to build another warning center - this time, in Palmer, Alaska. Rebecca Sheir pays a visit to the West Coast/Alaska Tsunami Warning Center, and learns how to distinguish a tsunami from a tidal wave, how to "practice an earthquake," and, most of all, how to catch the waves... before the waves catch you.

The Hurricane

From Vermont Folklife Center Media | Part of the Youth Radio Vermont series | 07:40

When I was 13, I lived in Florida with my mother. This is a story about a hurricane we lived through together, and how our lives changed in the aftermath.

Images2_small When I was 13, I lived in Florida with my mother. This is a story about a hurricane we lived through together, and how our lives changed in the aftermath.

Heavy Weather

From Barbara Bernstein | 54:06

Hour-long documentary explores connections between increasing extreme weather and our changing climates and landscapes.

A_heavy_weather_graphic_small

The Copenhagen Climate Talks yielded disappointing results. But there are many effective initiatives we can take to reduce global greenhouse emissions that don't require international treaties. HEAVY WEATHER, a new radio documentary by Barbara Bernstein explores the connections between increasing extreme weather and our changing climate and landscapes. It presents solutions that are community driven, based on decisions we make to change the ways we live and travel. Changes that actually can improve our quality of life.

For a hundred years people in the Pacific Northwest—and much of the world— have transformed the landscape to suit their needs. At the same time we’ve pumped enough greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere to transform the climate, forcing us now to rethink the shape and placement of our built environments. Now the burden of past decisions rests on our shoulders. Heavy Weather looks at what kinds of choices we can make to lighten that burden for future generations.

HEAVY WEATHER spends time in several communities around the Pacific Northwest, contrasting differing responses to the dramatic flooding that has occurred in the past 14 years and which will probably increase as the climate changes. It looks at the important role that remaining wetlands play in managing storm water in an ecological and healthful manner, as well as efforts to "re-nature" the city, like Portland's Environmental Services project, Tabor to the Willamette Project. HEAVY WEATHER explores how the transition from engineered solutions for managing water to natural processes, including protecting natural wetlands, helps clean our rivers, protect salmon and buffer us from flooding that will only get worse as the climate changes.

We hear the voices of climate scientist Philip Mote, ecologist Kathleen Sayce, environmental ethicist Kathleen Dean Moore, sustainable farmers in Oregon and Virginia, as well as elected officials in Lewis (WA) and Tillamook (OR) Counties, Metro councilor Rex Burkholder and Portland and Vancouver, WA mayors Sam Adams and Tim Leavitt. Portland's urban naturalist Mike Houck takes us on a tour of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and wetland in the Sellwood district of Portland. Former Lewis County public works director Mark Cook shows us around the suburban sprawl spreading across the Chehalis River floodplain. And Portland State University faculty member Vivek Shandas guides us through the Brooklyn Basin, where Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services is trying to replicate with ecoroofs, curbside and parking lot swales and tree planting, the course and function of a historic creek that flows under the streets of SE Portland on its way to the Willamette River.

HEAVY WEATHER was produced with funding from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Humanities (an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities) and the Ralph L. Smith Foundation

Hurricane Herrick

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 06:18

Former boxing champion Hurricane Herrick "gains respect" as a window washer and unofficial bouncer at Ricky's.

Default-piece-image-2 Thirty years ago, Gene Herrick was a boxing champion -- practically a household name in Portland, Maine. Since then, he has been washing windows and has become a fixture in a local bar where he helps keep things from getting too rowdy.

After the Flood

From Salt Institute for Documentary Studies | 08:02

Many Mainers come to Flagstaff Lake to kayak, hunt or snowmobile. But the story of the lake is largely untold. Sixty years ago this spring, three small towns were submerged under the dead river. Anna Pinkert has the story of one of these towns.

Mae_savage_small

Flagstaff, Maine was a pretty normal small town in the 1940’s – but by 1952, it was entirely under water. Flagstaff was flooded to create a reservoir that serves hydroelectric dams downstream.  Kenny and Duluth Wing are on a mission to keep the story of Flagstaff alive – before the Flagstaff generation disappears.  

Fire

From Distillations | 01:31

Fire, from a chemical perspective

Playing
Fire
From
Distillations

Default-piece-image-0 Fire was once thought to be an element--and the source of passion.

Fire on the Mountain

From Maeve Conran | 29:54

A radio documentary looking at how the historic mining town of Gold Hill Colorado was saved on Labor Day 2010, during one of the most destructive wild fires in Colorado history.

Fire_on_the_mountain_small On Labor Day 2010, the Four Mile Fire in the foothills west of Boulder Colorado became one of the most destructive wildfires in the state's history.  Despite all the odds, the historic mining town of Gold Hill, which was right in the fire's path, was saved.  This is the story. 
This radio documentary came second in the PRNDI 2012 awards - Documentary - Division C. 

The Arrowhead drought

From WTIP | 07:26

This year, particularly the last few months have been dry in Northern Minnesota. Dry to the point of drought. Jay Andersen of WTIP North Shore Community Radio spoke to local naturalist Chel Anderson about the effects of drought especially in our streams and rivers.

Low_river_water_level_small

North woods naturalist interviews with Chel Anderson can be found on the Boreal homepage and on our website at wtip.org.

Floods, droughts, pests, oh my!

From Harvest Public Media Group | Part of the Climate Pains series | 03:39

Climate change is already affecting agriculture in the Midwest. And some aspects have actually helped farmers, like a longer growing season and more humid summers. But that same weather could unleash some negative impacts, too. Harvest Public Media’s Kathleen Masterson reports this story about increased extreme rainstorms -- and weather patterns that could help crop pests and diseases flourish.

Mites_small

Researchers say CLIMATE CHANGE IS ALREADY HAPPENING. Farmers in parts of Africa are experiencing extreme, debilitating droughts… regions like Bangladesh are facing flooding and sea levels rising as much as 3 feet…

Here in the Midwest, some changes that NASA climate change models predicted in the 1990s have indeed come to pass over the last decade , says Iowa State University climatologist Gene Takle (tok-lee).

Takle1---(20) The model showed winters and summers would have higher temps, winter temps would increase faster, that has occurred, [ah... nighttime temps would increase faster than daytime temps, that also has been manifest. ]

AND SO FAR, on balance, those weather changes have actually helped agriculture in the Midwest, says Takle

Takle2 (17)-- Plant breeders attrib at least 1 bushel per acre per year yield increases to better more favorable climate.. Growing season longer, more soil moisture, higher densities, [we have fewer daytimes extreme temps.]

BUT -- yup, you probably smelled a but coming -- scientists says climate change will bring some negatives. And the biggest negatives are more extreme-- and unpredictable --weather; like flooding and drought. In the Midwest, we'll likely see more intense rainstorms -- esp in the springtime.

That could spell trouble says ISU soil scientist Matt Helmers. Frequent, more pounding rains will wash away precious soil and fertilizer that the crops need to grow.

Helmers1a-- lf get increase intensity of precip during spring of year, not much crop canopy, soils can be susceptible.

many farmers till crops under in the fall, and this churns up the soil and leaves it exposed without roots to hold it in place all winter.

BUT rainy weather can bring more headaches to farmers than just washing away soil and nutrients. In the last 30 years, moisture in the air in Iowa and the region has increased by 13%, says Takle.

Takle4 --Our Nights are more humid, it means dew on crops, longer, comes earlier in evening, lasts longer in morning, so that's more favorable conditions, pests, pathogens, molds, toxins and so on ..

Gray leaf spot, white mold, sudden death syndrome (soybeans), mycotoxin infestations, crazy top and common smut, stem rust… soybean mosaic virus...

Those are just a few of the crop diseases that have surged NORTHWARD with warmer, wetter weather in the Midwest, according to report by NASA scientist.

And ISU entomologist Matt O'Neal says warm weather currents COULD also serve to transport the insects more effectively… because the way many insects find food and homes is -- they fly straight up:

Oneal1-- Then they get sucked into weather patterns-- currents, pull up into atmosphere, get them into jet stream, and they use that to get far, far away, and then they literally get rained out of sky… so migration over great distances can be facilitated by weather events ---

O'Neal is studying aphids. Infestations of these pen-point sized critters can literally suck the life out of crop plants. AND

O'neal: (15) (Aphids) they're also flying dirty hypodermic needles, piercing sucking mouth parts, dirty needles that pick up virus from infected plant, travel to another plant and spread it.

So one change in climate -- like warmer springs -- can have a whole domino effect on our ecosystem. But it's near impossible to predict precisely what that cascade of events will be. And the effects are likely to vary a good deal by region.

So until we develop better models that can make more clear predictions, farmers will just have to keep on doing what they have been for centuries: adapting.

I'm kathleen masterson, Harvest Public Media.

Life By the Drop: Dry, the Beloved Country

From KUT | 04:20

In the first in a series on the the state of water and drought in Texas, Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly, takes a look at the devastation and destruction of the Texas drought. This report is a collaboration of KUT Austin, StateImpact Texas, and Texas Monthly.

Dead-cow_small In the first in a series on the the state of water and drought in Texas, Jake Silverstein, editor of Texas Monthly, takes a look at the devastation and destruction of the Texas drought. This report is a collaboration of KUT Austin, StateImpact Texas, and Texas Monthly.

Two Holidays and a Blizzard

From Playing on Air | Part of the Playing on Air Full Length Episodes series | 53:00

Three short plays. The Blizzard, a mystery thriller, features Jesse Eisenberg as a snowed-in screenwriter facing unexpected guests. In The Miracle of Chanukah, a holiday guest’s personal miracle throws a family for a loop. In Christmas Breaks, a guy dumps a girl but presents a substitute. Interview with David Ives, John Rando and The Blizzard cast; Sheri Wilner and The Miracle of Chanukah cast and the cast of Christmas Breaks.

20140528-jesse-x624-1401309758_small

Three short plays. The Blizzard, a chilly thriller, features Jesse Eisenberg as a snowed-in screenwriter facing unexpected guests. In The Miracle of Chanukah, a holiday guest’s personal miracle throws a family for a loop. In Christmas Breaks, a young man surprises his girlfriend with some curve ball gifts. The Blizzard is written by David Ives (Venus in Fur), directed by John Rando (Tony) with Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network), Alfredo Narciso, Heidi Schreck and Sarah Sokolovic ("Homeland"). Miracle of Chanukah is by Sheri Wilner and features Zach Appelman, Peter Friedman, Judy Gold (Emmy), Marcia Jean Kurtz, Lisa Joyce. Christmas Breaks is by Patrick Gabridge and features Zach Appelman, Steven Boyer (Hand to God, "The Trail"), and Halley Feiffer ("Bored to Death").  Interview with David Ives, John Rando and The Blizzard cast; Sheri Wilner and The Miracle of Chanukah cast and the cast of Christmas Breaks.

The Great Snowstorm of '78

From Emily Corwin | 02:23

Ed Doyle is a retired Boston Police Officer. In this short, non-narrated story, he recalls his experiences on-duty during the great snowstorm of '78.

Snow_tremont_small Ed Doyle is a retired Boston Police Officer. In this short, non-narrated story, he recalls his experiences on-duty during the great snowstorm of '78.

Minnesota Disasters Traveling Exhibit

From KVSC | Part of the St. Cloud Area Arts & Culture Collage series | 23:30

In this news feature, Arts & Cultural Heritage Producer Jeff Carmack visits the Stearns History Museum to talk with their staff about a new exhibit from the MN Historical Society regarding the history of disasters in Minnesota. From locust plagues to the I-35 bridge collapse to a good number of overly intense blizzards, Minnesota has seen its fair share of catastrophes. This exhibit not only explores the disasters themselves but also the nature in which Minnesotans responded to them and helped out their neighbors in various times of need

Blizzard_small In this news feature, Arts & Cultural Heritage Producer Jeff Carmack visits the Stearns History Museum to talk with their staff about a new exhibit from the MN Historical Society regarding the history of disasters in Minnesota.  From locust plagues to the I-35 bridge collapse to a good number of overly intense blizzards, Minnesota has seen its fair share of catastrophes.  This exhibit not only explores the disasters themselves but also the nature in which Minnesotans responded  to them and helped out their neighbors in various times of need