DC Triathlon Club

Liz Baugher on The Weather

June, 2020

Can you tell us what you do for work?

I am a degree’d Meteorologist and have worked most of my time in research on ice clouds. Now I work for the American Meteorological Society (AMS) in the Education department. I create content in weather, ocean and climate for teachers to be able to teach the science in the classroom.

Do you ever use your knowledge to integrate into training or racing?

I am watching the weather ALL the time for my ideal training times. With summer coming there is a toss up between starting early with cooler temperatures, but perhaps higher humidity. If you are training for a hot race in early season you may also opt to do your training in the afternoons to “heat adapt”. One of the most important things to recognize with the summer approaching is that your training zones (HR, paces) may look a little different then when its nice out. It’s OK to take the time and let your body adapt.

What’s the worse conditions that you’ve raced or trained in?

I raced the 2018 Boston Marathon when it was blizzard/hurricane winds/freezing cold Epicness. I don’t know how I finished, but I did!

Do you have advice for racing in less than ideal weather conditions?

The biggest thing for non ideal weather is that everyone else is racing in the same weather. Everyone’s results will be effected. Focus on controlling what you can and it will give you your best results! De-attaching from “time” goals will save you.

Have you ever made forecasts for the Elite Team or the club?

Choosing the ideal time for team long rides at camp, particularly when we have a team photo shoot has definitely happened! I get a lot of texts in the weeks leading up to certain events from members on the team asking for my opinion on the weather. I love it! Also, last year at Swim-Run North Carolina, a huge super cell was coming through and they wanted to delay the race. When they announced the first delay, I was like WHAT! I have to talk to them! I found the race director and showed him using my weather apps, that we basically had to go now or never, and that we would be safe based on our location. The race went on and we all finished and missed the storm. Sometimes it helps to have an expert!

What are some apps or websites that you would recommend?

Weather Channel, ClimaCell, and Radar Scope for “normal people viewing”. Penn State “E-wall” if you like the Data.

Extra TidBit – Most people know I LOVE clouds. I am often found looking at the clouds while driving and/or pointing them out to my friends and family. Send me a pic of a cloud if you want me to help identify it !