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November 21, 2000|JAY CHRISTENSEN


Steve Ciriano and Jim Cramer think they've found their place in the sun.

Or the snow, wind, rain, sleet, fog, cold, heat or whatever other atmospheric condition can affect a college or pro football game.

Ciriano, 34, is a dispatcher and Cramer, 39, is a meteorologist for an airline in Louisville, Ky., and their passion for football has become another profession.

In August, they launched, a site dedicated to forecasting weather conditions for football games. They start posting forecasts on Tuesdays and issue updates throughout the week until game day. Most important, they forecast what the weather will be at the site, not a nearby airport.

"Take the UCLA-Michigan game earlier this season," Ciriano said. "Nearly everybody forecasting the weather for the game got their forecast from LAX, which is on the water and about 20 degrees cooler. Inland at Pasadena, it was hot and might have contributed to Michigan having problems late in the game."

The Wolverines seemingly wilted in record 108-degree heat and lost, 23-20. They weren't the only ones suffering. Nearly 200 among the Rose Bowl crowd of 88,044 sought medical help for heat-related problems.

"There's other sites that try to do what we do, but usually it is only a link to a generic weather forecast for the next five days." Cramer said. "They always leave off the humidity, wind and other conditions that are critical in football games.

"It's pretty amazing. We had this idea for a couple of years and kept thinking that someone has to do this, but nobody did."

So where does it go from here? Ciriano and Cramer plan to incorporate other sports.

"We'll be doing XFL games, baseball, golf, horse racing, you name it," Ciriano said. "Tennis is a good one. Look at the power players. They often have trouble when it's windy."

Said Cramer: "People connect Mel Kiper Jr. to the NFL draft. We want people to connect weather at sporting events to"

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