Weatherbell Team Bios
Our Team of Dedicated Professionals
- Michael Barak
- Mike Shanahan
- Joe Bastardi
- Joseph D' Aleo
- Dr. Ryan N. Maue
- Mike Furlender
- Thomas E. Downs, V
- Antonio G. Riggi
Mr. Barak’s passion for weather and keen interest in its economic impact on the private sector led him to assemble a team capable of the most accurate forecasts. He developed a close relationship with two meteorologists, Joe Bastardi and Joe D’Aleo, whom he believed to be second to none in forecasting ability.
Prior to founding WeatherBELL, Mr. Barak was a Vice President at Crossways Consulting Group, an aerospace/defense focused consulting firm. Mr. Barak helped develop channels to market and business opportunities for clients in the United States and abroad. He worked alongside industry leaders where, despite his young age, his input was strongly valued.
Mr. Barak holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Cornell University School of Engineering.
As a high school student, Mr. Barak was a semi-finalist in the Intel Science Talent Search (formerly Westinghouse Competition). His research was entitled “The Effect of the North Atlantic Oscillation on the Tracks of Atlantic Hurricanes.” He did most of his research at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, a research center of Columbia University.
Mike Shanahan – Chief Operating Officer
Mike Shanahan received a Bachelor’s Degree in Civil Engineering from the Cornell University School of Engineering. After graduation, Mr. Shanahan worked as a Project Engineer for American Infrastructure, a heavy/highway contractor in suburban Philadelphia. He then returned to Cornell, graduating with his MBA from the Johnson Graduate School of Management.
Mike joined WeatherBELL at the company's inception in 2011.
Joe Bastardi – Chief Forecaster
Formerly the Chief Long Range Forecaster at Accuweather, Joe Bastardi is an institution in the science of weather prediction. Many companies across a multitude of industries, from energy to retail, have profited from his forecasts. His exceptional skills are rooted in a comprehensive understanding of global oscillations and in-depth analysis of historical weather patterns. Mr.Bastardi’s analog approach, which finds similarities between current and historical weather patterns, allows him to make an accurate forecast, sometimes in defiance of computer model consensus.During his 32 year tenure at Accuweather, Mr. Bastardi built a large private client services business.
Mr. Bastardi is also well known for his blog featuring the popular videos “The Atmospheric Avenger" and "The Raging WeatherBull."
His reputation for making bold and accurate forecasts has landed him on major television programs including Fox News Live, ABC World News, The O’Reilly Factor, The Colbert Report, CBS’ The Early Show, Imus in the Morning, and several others.
Mr. Bastardi graduated from Pennsylvania State University and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Meteorology.
Joseph D’ Aleo – Chief Forecaster
Joseph D'Aleo was a co founder and the first Director of Meteorology at the cable TV Weather Channel. He has over 40 years experience in professional meteorology. Mr. D'Aleo is now co-chief Meteorologist with Weatherbell Analytics LLC.
Mr. D'Aleo was Chief Meteorologist at Weather Services International Corporation and the WSI Intellicast.com web site. He was a college professor of Meteorology at Lyndon State College. He has authored a resource guide on El Nino and La Nina and papers on how research into ENSO and atmospheric, oceanic and solar oscillations have made skillful seasonal forecasts possible. Mr. D'Aleo has also published papers and made numerous presentations on the roles cycles in the sun and oceans have played in climate change.
Mr. D'Aleo is a Certified Consultant Meteorologist and was elected a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society (AMS). He has served as a member and then chairman of the American Meteorological Society's Committee on Weather Analysis and Forecasting, and has co-chaired national conferences for both the American Meteorological Society and the National Weather Association. Mr. D'Aleo was elected a Councilor for the AMS.
Joseph D'Aleo is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin with BS and MS degrees in Meteorology. His master's thesis was on explosive development in east coast cyclones.
Dr. Ryan N. Maue – Meteorological Applications Research
Dr. Ryan N. Maue is a research atmospheric scientist with expertise in synoptic-dynamic meteorology, numerical weather prediction analysis, and tropical cyclone climate interactions. He is adept at the synthesis and visualization of very large datasets including operational deterministic and ensemble weather model output, historical reanalysis products, and observation based archives. Dr. Maue received his Masters and Ph.D. (2010) from Florida State University with a research emphasis on tropical cyclone climatology and mesoscale modeling of explosively intensifying "warm seclusion" extratropical cyclones.
Dr. Maue has been an active participant in the academic community most recently as a National Research Council Postdoctoral Research at the Naval Research Laboratory in Monterey CA in a collaborative effort to improve understanding of weather forecast errors. He has published several peer-reviewed research papers and has served as a reviewer for numerous journals. Dr. Maue's tropical update webpage has been cited numerous times in the media chronicling the recent historical downturn in global tropical cyclone frequency and integrated energy. He grew up in Northern Michigan and attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor for his undergraduate education.
Mike Furlender – Web & Technology Development
Mike is a 2010 graduate of University of Massachusetts Amherst where he earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Computer Science and Microbiology. While at UMass, he was the recipient of the Intel Award for excellence in computer science. Mike previously worked with FFK International, a New York based investment firm.
Thomas E. Downs, V – Operational & Forensic Meteorologist
For over 10 years, Thomas Downs served the legal and insurance communities while at Expert Weather Investigations and Weather 2000, Inc. He has provided numerous expert reports for a broad spectrum of legal and insurance cases in various state and federal jurisdictions. Mr. Downs has been deposed and has appeared in court to testify as an expert in analyzing official weather records. He has been interviewed by various media as a weather and climate expert, and has assisted in the production of various documentaries. He earned a B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from Cornell University, is a member of the American Meteorological Society and the International Association for Urban Climate.
Antonio G. Riggi – Meteorologist/Programmer
Antonio Riggi's interest in meteorology goes back to the many snowstorms he experienced growing up in northern New Jersey. His desire to learn more about meteorology led him to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 2010. Graduate studies followed at Florida State University, where he conducted research using meteorological modeling, including simulations of mesoscale atmospheric conditions in complex terrain, and atmospheric transport and dispersion simulations. He earned his Master of Science degree from FSU in 2013.