Minds Behind Maps

Maps Are Everywhere. These are conversations with those building them.



episode 35: Andrew Blum: Understanding How We Predict the Weather - MBM#35

Andrew Blum is the author of 'The Weather Machine', which provides a history & global overview of how we predict the weather, from the data collection to forecast modelling. His book came out in 2019 so we also discuss the current evolutions & changes since its release.


Episode Sponsor: GeoAwesomeness & UP42 EO Hub


About Andrew:





Andrew Blum's books

  • The Weather Machine
  • Tubes

Micheal Lewis, author of the Big Short

Book & Podcast recommendation

  • Tomorrow & tomorrow & tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
  • The Carbon Copy
  • Wind of Change
  • Patrick Radden Keefe


00:00 Introduction 
02:50 Andrew Presents Himself 
03:46 Difference between author and journalist 
08:14 Choosing What to Write About 
12:35 The Goal of Writing a Book 
14:34 The Importance of Going on Location 
17:04 The Duality of Talking About People / Facts 
20:12 Initial Email Outreach is takes a lot of care 
25:37 Weather Is International Yet Competitive 
27:52 Bringing An Outsiders Perspective to Understanding the Weather 
32:55 Being Knowledgeable is Simply Asking Better Questions 
37:36 The Difference Between Facts, and how we Find those Facts 
41:13 The Need for Separating Building & Owning 
45:10 Feedback on the Weather Machine, a few years After its Release 
51:52 The Dangers of Privatising Weather 
01:01:11 How Good do we Actually Need Forecasts to be? 
01:05:23 Weather is THE mainstream Earth Observation application 
01:09:00 Data Inequality in Weather Forecasting Quality 
01:14:44 How Much Does it Cost to run the Weather Machine? 
01:18:15 Tips on Writing & Editing, for non-writers 
01:21:44 Advice for the Scientific Community 
01:27:21 Book/podcast recommendation

Feel free to reach out! 
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- Edited by Peter Xiong. Find more of his work

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 2022-12-15  1h32m