Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version




DOI: 10.175/BAMS-86-3-341


2005 American Meteorological Society


Most meteorologists are acquainted with the notion of a weather hole—that is, a place that receives less exciting weather than does its surroundings. Exciting weather takes many forms, but when people use the term weather hole, they tend to mean a place that thunderstorms often barely miss, or near which approaching storms often dissipate. For this paper, that is the meaning we adopt.

In our experience, many meteorologists and lay weather enthusiasts genuinely believe that they live in weather holes, and this belief, almost without fail, seems to stem from countless hours spent gazing at displays of radar reflectivity. We have generally pre- sumed that such people simply relish thunderstorms, are memorably disappointed whenever storms miss them, and erroneously conclude that their locations are subject to some kind of meteorologic disfavor.

The recent availability of multiple years' worth of national radar composites from the Weather Surveillance Radar-1988 Doppler (WSR-88D) network makes it possible to address objectively, if not definitively, whether meteorologists appear to live in weather holes and whether such an appearance is physical or artificial.