A. You’re going to listen to Matt Wallace, a meteorologist, talking about his job. First read the questions. Listen to the interview and answer the questions.
1 What’s the difference between a meteorologist and a TV weatherman?
2 How far ahead can you accurately predict the weather?
3 Are long-term forecasts ever accurate?
4 What’s your favorite kind of weather?
5 In what ways have you noticed that the weather has changed in the last ten years?
6 Are you optimistic or pessimistic about climate change?
B. Listen again. What examples does he give for the following?
1 an occasion when it’s difficult to predict the weather
2 how weather in one part of the world affects another part
3 why thunderstorms are exciting to watch at night
4 some unusual weather this year in the US
5 the effects of climate change on the US weather
1 A meteorologist collects the data, and a TV weatherman presents the information on radio or TV.
2 Five to seven days
3 Not in detail, but they can give a general trend.
5 He doesn’t think it has changed significantly – there’s a little more extreme weather and it’s a little warmer.
1 Low cloud at airports, knowing when it’s going to clear
2 The weather in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Pacific Ocean can affect weather in the US.
3 You can see lightning moving inside the clouds, showing the shape of the clouds.
4 An intense heatwave, a drought
5 More extreme heatwaves in the South and in Southern California, colder and longer winters in the Northeast, more rain and flooding in the Midwest and the Pacific Northwest
H = host, M = Matt Wallace
H And moving on to our next guest… We all know that one of the favorite topics of conversation here in the US is the weather, especially after this summer’s scorching temperatures in the Southwest, along with the unusual below-average temperatures in the Northeast. Now we have with us in the studio meteorologist Matt Wallace, and earlier in the show we asked listeners to tweet us any questions they had about the weather, and now Matt going to answer some of them for us. Welcome to the show, Matt.
M Thanks, Jennie.
H So, the first question for you from our listeners is: What’s the difference between a meteorologist and a TV weatherman?
M Well, basically, a meteorologist collects all the data, whereas a TV weatherman, well, is given the information and presents it on the radio or on TV, or wherever. Keep in mind, a few TV weathermen are also trained meteorologists, but not many.
H How far ahead can you accurately predict the weather?
M I think, typically, we can forecast about five to seven days ahead on average. But some weather is more predictable than others. If there’s high pressure, with not much changing, we could forecast, maybe, seven to ten days ahead. On other occasions, it can be very uncertain, we don’t know even over just a few hours, so for example, if there’s a lot of low cloud at airports, it will be very difficult for us to know when the cloud is going to clear enough for aircraft to take off or land.
H Are long-term forecasts ever accurate?
M In terms of forecasting as far ahead as next summer or winter, there’s a very new system where we can see how what’s happening in one part of the world might affect another weather system somewhere else, so, like, weather in the Arctic, the Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean, and even the Pacific Ocean all make a difference to the weather in the US. So we can’t get real detail that far ahead, but we can get a general trend.
H What’s your favorite kind of weather?
M Thunderstorms, especially at night, because they’re very exciting. You can see things like the lightning moving around inside the clouds, especially at night, when the lightning really highlights the shape of the clouds. You never quite know what weather might come out of a thunderstorm; it’s a kind of “weather factory,” really. It can generate large amounts of rain of tremendous intensity; it can bring very strong winds, large hail, snow sometimes…There’s just incredible power and majesty in thunderstorms.
H In what ways have you noticed that the weather has changed in the last ten years?
M Well, in fact, over the last ten years, I don’t think the weather has changed an awful lot. This year we’ve had an intense heatwave in Texas with over 30 days of 100-degree temperatures, while in Alaska – typically one of the wettest places in the US – there’s been a drought, it’s unusual, yes, these are quite extreme for the US, I suppose, but it’s not unprecedented; both have happened before, and both will happen again. There’s evidence to show that maybe extreme weather is happening a little bit more frequently; certainly globally, looking at the science, it tends to have gotten more extreme than it has been in the past, and it’s obviously becoming a little warmer as well, so yeah, but I’ve not necessarily noticed it myself day to day.
H Are you optimistic or pessimistic about climate change?
M I’m fairly pessimistic about it. I think in the US, it will probably lead to more frequent, more extreme heatwaves in the South and in Southern California, potentially colder and longer winters in the Northeast, and some more extreme weather as well, more intense rainfall, and a greater risk of extreme flooding in the Midwest and in the Pacific Northwest.
H Matt, thank you very much for coming and answering our questions.
Listen and choose a, b, or c.
1 When Claudia flew to Shanghai, ____.
a the flight started in London
b she was able to eat on the plane
c the flight took off in the morning
2 Rafael ____.
a often reads novels
b doesn’t read very fast
c never reads online
3 When Diarmuid was living in Japan, and there were typhoons, ____.
a he wasn’t allowed to leave the house
b a lot of people panicked
c his building was destroyed
4 Julia enjoyed waterskiing ____ the dangers.
a because she was addicted to
b despite knowing about
c because she was ignorant of
1 b 2 b 3 a 4 c
I = interviewer, C = Claudia
I Have you ever flown long-haul?
C I have flown long-haul.
I Where did you go?
C I have gone from New York to London. I’ve gone from New York to Shanghai. I’ve flown, and I fly frequently to Frankfurt from New York. That’s long-haul.
I How was the flight to Shanghai?
C Uh that flight was very long. Um I flew over night. Uh lots of entertainment. Many uh many games. And many [clears throat] uh and um many movies. Lots of food.
I = interviewer, R = Rafael
I What kind of things to you enjoy reading?
R I like to read. I’m a slow reader, but I love reading, so I like to read, um, besides everything about everything, everybody, every subject. I like biographies, and, uh, and I like, uh, true testimonies, and, uh, it varies, I like poetry a lot, and very occasional fiction, which I know is a challenge to write well.
I Do you prefer reading in print or online?
R I still prefer to read in print, but online saves time.
I = interviewer, D = Diarmuid
I Have you ever experienced extreme weather?
D I lived in Japan and every year, uh, Japan has a typhoon season. Um, and it was quite soon into my stay there that we had several typhoons, one after the other. Um, and it was quite extreme.
I What happened?
D Um, uh, we had, we were all told to stay indoors. Um, they were very used to it, so they had drills. Um, and it did cause some damage in the town, I think like broken roofs and things like that. Um, but they did deal with it very well.
I = interviewer, J = Julia
I Have you ever done a dangerous sport?
J Uh, yeah, I guess waterskiing is the most dangerous sport I’ve done.
I Did you enjoy it?
J I did, but mostly because I just didn’t realize that you can die from it. So I went really, I went really, really quickly and was like, this is great. And then afterwards my sister told me about a relative of ours who like, broke their leg from waterskiing. So…but it’s fine, yeah.
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Possibilities
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Discoveries
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Dilemmas
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – City living
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Around the globe
- Practice English Listening B2 Exercises – Chance