Do you have a famous neighbor? I ask this because I recently moved from Santa Maria to San Luis Opispo and I discovered that my next door neighbor is none other than the great Jim Byrne KCOY weatherman, ex-KCOY weatherman I should say. Jim is actually a real hoot and I enjoy his company a lot. What many don’t understand about Jim and his colleagues is that they are not presenters who talk about the weather, they are fully trained meteorologists who present the weather to you. Last week Jim and I went out for a few cold ones and he was talking about whether or not we can predict natural disasters, let’s have a look.


When the ground trembles it can cause huge amounts of damage and loss of life and many cities around the world have had to rebuild themselves in a way that will ensure that the consequences of an earthquake are minimized. Unfortunately however we still haven’t quite got to the bottom of how these earthquakes come about and whilst we know that they are caused by tectonic plates coming together, we don’t yet understand the conditions which are required for them to move. The best we have done so far is setting up alarms around the epicenter of a quake, so as to reduce the damage that is done. The only positive which we do have is that we can detect when earthquakes hit, which allow us to then prepare for the following tsunami.

Twisters, Cyclones, Hurricanes, Tornadoes

The power of wind should never be underestimated and when it starts to whip up gather pace, any one of these extreme wind patterns can cause chaos. Thankfully however we have the advanced technology and smart meteorologists like Jim Byrne, who are able to see these strong winds beginning hundreds of miles away. The winds can then be tracked and monitored as they gather or lose pace and we can even predict at what time they will hit the land. This gives us plenty of time to get people to safety and out of the way of these natural disasters.


If you have ever been skiing and watched an avalanche take place on another mountain you will know only too well just how terrifying this can be. Even more terrifying is that we still don’t have a great idea as to when these avalanches will take place. There is some research we can do when it comes to the structure of the mountain and the snow and ice build up, as well as being able to tell when the ice has begun to move below the snow, but we still haven’t managed to find the way to have an early warning for these types of natural disasters.

As advanced as we may think that we are, it would seem that Mother Nature still hold most of the cards in this battle.