Periods of cold rain, sustained winds around 20 mph from the east-northeast, and gusts of up to 30-40 mph. Hardly a punter’s paradise.
The detailed report from @NashSevereWx, a Twitter account with about 156,000 followers accomplished two things: First and foremost, it gave Brett Kern an accurate, reliable assessment of the dicey conditions to expect at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Dec. 16, when the Titans played the Giants.
Two, it tugged at one of Kern’s lifelong passions.
Yeah, there was always the dream of making it as a punter in the NFL, but there was also the interest in becoming a storm chaser — as in one of those meteorologists who tracks and follows tornadoes, hurricanes and other terrifying natural phenomena, all in the name of science.
Punting seemed safer.
“I told my wife when we first met in college that I was thinking about becoming a storm chaser,” Kern said ahead of the Titans’ game against the Indianapolis Colts on “Sunday Night Football” (7:20 p.m. CT, NBC) at Nissan Stadium. “She said if we want to start a family and have kids, you’re not doing that. So that ended pretty quickly.”
The two-time Pro Bowl punter’s passion for weather, though, has persisted. And his punting is better for it.
To the north was Lake Ontario. To the southwest was Lake Erie. And at the center was suburban Buffalo’s Grand Island High School, where Kern graduated in 2004.
“We had lake effect up there and a lot of different types of weather,” said Kern, who earned a degree in geography and urban development at Toledo but also dabbled plenty in meteorology. “So I’ve always been really, really interested in it. It’s just a coincidence that weather plays an important part of punting.”
It’s something he plans to pursue after football.
“I think it’d be probably more of a hobby than actually getting into weather on TV or something like that,” Kern said. “Maybe get some cool equipment in the basement and start my own Twitter account or something.”
In the meantime, he’s got eight apps on his iPhone — including a couple that he pays for, like RadarScope and MyRadar Pro — all geared toward preparing him for what to expect on game day. He’ll begin checking them with frequency about 48 hours before kickoff.
And then there is the fail-safe, personalized reports that Kern (and Titans kicker Ryan Succop) gets on Twitter from @NashSevereWx, like the one that helped him in East Rutherford.
“They do a really good job. Accurate, detailed,” Kern said. “A lot of different apps say a lot of different things, so if you can find one source that you really trust and they’re very accurate, they’re your go-to.”
Their history began innocently enough: After @NashSevereWx posted a weather outlook for a game at Nissan Stadium last season, Kern tweeted a thank-you message back. Nashville Severe Weather has been supplying kicking-specific forecasts for games ever since.