Guaranteed Weather When Traveling? Scientists Think That Might Be Possible


Weather conditions at any destination around the world are hard to pin down. We may have a general idea of average temperatures for any given time of the year, know that good rain gear is required for certain places or that bringing a swimsuit is a must. But exact weather conditions can often be elusive.

But what if they were not? What if, somehow, weather conditions could be modified?

Hacking The Planet,” a new series that starts this week on The Weather Channel, shows scientists developing ways to actually change the weather. Viewers can gain some insight into ways scientists may one day prevent, weaken or redirect threatening weather conditions and natural phenomena.

In each of the six initial episodes the show asks, “What if humans were no longer as susceptible to Mother Nature’s wrath?”, a question that could undoubtedly affect travel plans in a very big way.

Getting a handle on weather-related flight delays alone would be huge.

“It simply defies nature to think that humans could prevent rain from disrupting a sporting event or use lasers to draw lightning away from sensitive areas like nuclear power plants,” said Michael Dingley, senior vice president, content and development at The Weather Channel in a press release.

Surely, making even the slightest impact on rain, snow, tornadoes, hurricanes, lightning, earthquakes or volcanic eruptions too could protect iconic destinations from ruin, cause otherwise-aborted travel plans to happen and more.

“It’s fascinating to imagine a world where we can could manipulate the planet’s most powerful natural forces,” adds Dingley. “If any of these experiments are successful, it’s truly mind-boggling to think what that could mean for our future.”

Hacking The Planet” premieres Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 at 8 p.m. ET and is just one of a growing number of travel-related programs from the Weather Channel. The channel is also home to “Coast Guard Florida,” “Hawaii Air Rescue,” “Plane Xtreme” and others. New Weather Channel series coming up include: “Prospectors,” which follows a group of miners searching for the rarest gems (March 5), “Breaking Ice,” which takes viewers to the North and South poles (April 2013), and “Tipping Points,” a show about charting climate change (October 2013).

[Image Credit – Flickr user .michael.newman.]

American Airlines flight cancelled due to booing passengers

People love to get angry and take sides when things turn south during air travel. If you don’t believe me, go to, click on ANY forum, click on ANY thread, and you’ll probably see a labor vs. management or passenger vs. airline dispute.

These disputes come into particular focus during delays. Whether mechanical or weather related, it always seems like there are a dozen armchair pilots sitting in the crowd saying something like “It’s just a landing gear locking pin! Who needs that? I’m going to miss my connection!”

Just last week in Providence I sat next to a guy howling because the weather was fine in Providence and there was a weather delay. What he didn’t realize was that there was a ring of thunderstorms around the airport causing traffic. Not right above us.

Passengers on a recent American Airlines flight were so fired up from a delay in their crew showing up that they actually booed the employees when they boarded the plane. The pilots and flight attendants were so miffed that they canceled the flight, stranding passengers in Miami overnight.

Now who is the villain here? Nobody deserves to be booed at, especially when you’re just doing your job and connected in from a late flight. But as a rule, passengers don’t really know the full details of what’s going on so we can expect them to act like a fussy mob. Especially if your job is to deal with passengers all day. Should you have really canceled the flight?

It’s a close one, but I’m going with the passengers on this one.

[Via Gothamist]