Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday's Tornado in Marshall County, AL

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
447 PM CDT MON JUN 29 2009

...PRELIMINARY STORM SURVEY INFORMATION FROM MARSHALL COUNTY...

A PRELIMINARY STORM SURVEY OF THE DAMAGE INCURRED ACROSS MARSHALL
COUNTY HAS BEEN COMPLETED BY NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE AND MARSHALL
COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT PERSONNEL. INITIAL FINDINGS ARE AS
FOLLOWS:

* EVENT TYPE: TORNADO
* EVENT DATE: 06/28/09

* ESTIMATED PEAK WIND: 70.0 MPH
* PRELIMINARY RATING: EF-0

* PATH LENGTH: 2 MILES
* MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH: 50 YARDS

* SUMMARY: A BRIEF TORNADO TOUCHDOWN OCCURRED 4 MILES SOUTHWEST OF
ALBERTVILLE...JUST SOUTHWEST OF THE ALBERVILLE AIRPORT. DAMAGE
WAS SPORADIC AND GENERALLY LIGHT...WITH A FEW TREES UPROOTED AND
WEAKER SOFTWOOD TREES SNAPPED. LIGHT DAMAGE WAS ALSO NOTED TO A BARN
ROOF ALONG WHITE OAK ROAD...AS WELL AS SOME DAMAGE TO MATURE
CORN CROPS.

THESE FINDINGS ARE PRELIMINARY AND ARE SUBJECT TO ADJUSTMENT.
PICTURES AND SUMMARY MATERIALS WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB
PAGE AT WEATHER.GOV/HUNTSVILLE /ALL LOWER CASE/.

SURVEYED BY: COYNE

$$

A Warm Dry Day in Alabama

Looking SE from Decatur, AL.

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Severe Thunderstorm Watch


   URGENT - IMMEDIATE BROADCAST REQUESTED
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH NUMBER 530
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
135 PM EDT SUN JUN 28 2009

THE NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER HAS ISSUED A
SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH FOR PORTIONS OF

NORTHERN AND CENTRAL ALABAMA
WESTERN AND CENTRAL GEORGIA
SOUTHEAST TENNESSEE

EFFECTIVE THIS SUNDAY AFTERNOON AND EVENING FROM 135 PM UNTIL 900
PM EDT.

HAIL TO 1.5 INCHES IN DIAMETER...THUNDERSTORM WIND GUSTS TO 70
MPH...AND DANGEROUS LIGHTNING ARE POSSIBLE IN THESE AREAS.

THE SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH AREA IS APPROXIMATELY ALONG AND 135
STATUTE MILES EAST AND WEST OF A LINE FROM 50 MILES SOUTH
SOUTHWEST OF COLUMBUS GEORGIA TO 55 MILES NORTHEAST OF HUNTSVILLE
ALABAMA. FOR A COMPLETE DEPICTION OF THE WATCH SEE THE
ASSOCIATED WATCH OUTLINE UPDATE (WOUS64 KWNS WOU0).

REMEMBER...A SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH MEANS CONDITIONS ARE
FAVORABLE FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS IN AND CLOSE TO THE WATCH
AREA. PERSONS IN THESE AREAS SHOULD BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR
THREATENING WEATHER CONDITIONS AND LISTEN FOR LATER STATEMENTS
AND POSSIBLE WARNINGS. SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS CAN AND OCCASIONALLY
DO PRODUCE TORNADOES.

DISCUSSION...THUNDERSTORMS ARE BEGINNING TO FORM ACROSS PARTS OF
TN/AL/GA IN AXIS OF VERY MOIST AND UNSTABLE AIR. PWAT VALUES OVER 2
INCHES...MLCAPE OF 3000+ J/KG AND ABOUT 20 KNOTS OF EFFECTIVE SHEAR
WILL PROMOTE SLOW-MOVING MULTICELL STORM CLUSTERS CAPABLE OF WET
MICROBURSTS.

AVIATION...A FEW SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS WITH HAIL SURFACE AND ALOFT
TO 1.5 INCHES. EXTREME TURBULENCE AND SURFACE WIND GUSTS TO 60
KNOTS. A FEW CUMULONIMBI WITH MAXIMUM TOPS TO 500. MEAN STORM
MOTION VECTOR 32020.


...HART

Severe Storms This Afternoon


MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1365
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1139 AM CDT SUN JUN 28 2009

AREAS AFFECTED...ERN TN...ERN AL...NRN/CENTRAL GA AND FAR WRN NC

CONCERNING...SEVERE POTENTIAL...WATCH POSSIBLE

VALID 281639Z - 281745Z

THUNDERSTORMS ARE EXPECTED TO DEVELOP DURING THE NEXT HOUR OR SO
ACROSS PORTIONS OF ERN TN...NERN AL AND NWRN GA WITH A POTENTIAL FOR
SEVERE MULTICELL STORMS. BACK DOOR FRONT/WEAKER INSTABILITY
STRETCHING N-S FROM ERN GA INTO EXTREME ERN TN SHOULD MARK THE ERN
EXTENT OF SEVERE POTENTIAL. ONCE STORMS DEVELOP THEY WILL SPREAD
SEWD INTO PORTIONS OF EAST CENTRAL AL/CENTRAL GA/FAR WRN NC LATER
THIS AFTERNOON. A WW WOULD BE NEEDED ONCE SURFACE BASED STORMS
DEVELOP.

AT 16Z...A WEAK COLD FRONT STRETCHED FROM NEAR LEX SWWD INTO MIDDLE
TN...IN THE BNA AREA...AND INTO NRN MS NEAR OXFORD. AHEAD OF THE
FRONT...MOSTLY SUNNY SKIES HAD WARMED TEMPERATURES WELL INTO THE 80S
AND LOWER 90S...RESULTING IN A STRONGLY UNSTABLE AIR MASS...MLCAPES
UP TO 3000 J/KG. THIS STRONG INSTABILITY COMBINED WITH WINDS ALOFT
VEERING FROM WLY TO NWLY AND MID LEVEL WINDS AT 20-25 KT WILL BE
SUPPORTIVE OF SEVERE MULTICELL STORMS. PW VALUES NEAR 2 INCHES AND
STEEP LAPSE RATES IN THE LOWER 2 KM SUGGEST WET MICROBURSTS/WIND
DAMAGE SHOULD BE THE PRIMARY THREAT.

..IMY.. 06/28/2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Medical Aspects of Lightning Safety

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
554 AM CDT FRI JUN 26 2009

...MEDICAL ASPECTS OF LIGHTNING...

IN THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR, LIGHTNING KILLS AN AVERAGE OF 73
PEOPLE AND INJURES MORE THAN 300 PEOPLE. INJURIES CAN BE TRAGIC
AND EVEN MORE DEVASTATING TO THE FAMILY THAN THE DEATH OF A LOVED
ONE. IN ADDITION TO THE PHYSICAL PAIN AND MENTAL ANGUISH SUFFERED
BY THE VICTIM AND THE FAMILY, THE INCIDENT MAY RESULT IN THE LOSS OF
INCOME FOR THE FAMILY. OVER TIME, MEDICAL EXPENSES FOR TREATMENT
MAY DRAIN THE FAMILY'S ASSETS.

IF SOMEONE IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING, IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THEY RECEIVE
THE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION IMMEDIATELY. IF POSSIBLE, MOVE
THE VICTIM TO A SAFER PLACE. DO NOT LET THE RESCUERS BECOME
ADDITIONAL LIGHTNING VICTIMS. LIGHTNING CAN STRIKE IN THE SAME
SPOT TWICE. LIGHTNING STRIKE VICTIMS DO NOT CARRY AN ELECTRICAL
CHARGE AND ARE SAFE TO HANDLE. CALL 911 AND THEN CHECK TO SEE THAT
THE VICTIM IS BREATHING AND HAS A PULSE. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE
VICTIM UNTIL HELP ARRIVES. CARDIAC ARREST IS THE IMMEDIATE CAUSE
OF DEATH IN LIGHTNING FATALITIES. IF NECESSARY, BEGIN CPR.
PHYSICALLY...ONLY A FEW LIGHTNING STRIKE VICTIMS SUFFER BURNS.
THESE LIGHTNING BURNS ARE USUALLY MINOR AND OCCUR WHEN OBJECTS NEXT
TO THE BODY, SUCH AS RINGS, NECKLACES, OR METAL COINS ARE HEATED BY
THE LIGHTNING. IN ADDITION, SWEAT VAPORIZED BY LIGHTNING CAN CAUSE
BURNS.

MENTALLY, LIGHTNING STRIKE VICTIMS MAY FACE CHALLENGES FOR THE REST
OF THEIR LIVES. THE PERSON MAY SUFFER FROM SHORT TERM MEMORY LOSS
AND MAY HAVE DIFFICULTY MENTALLY STORING NEW INFORMATION AND
ACCESSING OLD INFORMATION. VICTIMS MAY OFTEN FIND IT VERY DIFFICULT
TO CARRY OUT MORE THAN ONE TASK AT A TIME AND MAY BE EASILY
DISTRACTED. THEIR PERSONALITIES MAY CHANGE AND THEY MAY BECOME
EASILY IRRITATED. VICTIMS OFTEN COMPLAIN OF BEING EASILY FATIGUED
AND CAN BECOME EXHAUSTED AFTER A FEW HOURS OF WORK. THIS MAY BE
BECAUSE MENTAL TASKS THAT WERE AUTOMATIC NOW REQUIRE INTENSE
CONCENTRATION TO ACCOMPLISH. ALTHOUGH SOME VICTIMS MAY SLEEP
EXCESSIVELY AT FIRST, AFTER A FEW WEEKS, MAY FIND IT DIFFICULT TO
SLEEP MORE THAN 2 TO 3 HOURS AT A TIME.

ANOTHER COMMON LONG TERM PROBLEM FOR SURVIVORS IS PAIN. LIGHTNING
STRIKE VICTIMS MAY OFTEN HAVE IRREPARABLE NERVE DAMAGE. MANY
SURVIVORS COMPLAIN OF CHRONIC HEADACHES, SOME OF WHICH ARE INTENSE
AND DEBILITATING. IT IS IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THAN WHILE MANY
LIGHTNING VICTIMS SURVIVE, THEIR LIVES ARE CHANGED FOREVER AND
THEIR DREAMS FOR THE FUTURE--AND THOSE OF THEIR FAMILIES--WILL NEVER
BE THE SAME. FOR MORE INFORMATION ON LIGHTNING SAFETY, GO TO
WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV.

$$

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Safe Shelters and Indoor Safety from Lightning

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
800 AM CDT THU JUN 25 2009

...LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK CONTINUES...
...SAFE SHELTERS AND INDOOR SAFETY...

A HOUSE OR OTHER SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING OFFERS THE BEST PROTECTION
FROM LIGHTNING. IN ASSESSING THE SAFETY PROVIDED BY A PARTICULAR
STRUCTURE...IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO CONSIDER WHAT HAPPENS IF THE
STRUCTURE GETS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING...RATHER THAN WHETHER THE
STRUCTURE WILL BE HIT BY LIGHTNING. FOR A SHELTER TO PROVIDE
PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING...IT MUST CONTAIN A MECHANISM FOR
CONDUCTING THE ELECTRICAL CURRENT FROM THE POINT OF CONTACT TO THE
GROUND. THESE MECHANISMS MAY BE ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE
STRUCTURE...MAY BE CONTAINED WITHIN THE WALLS OF THE STRUCTURE...OR
MAY BE A COMBINATION OF THE TWO. ON THE OUTSIDE...LIGHTNING CAN
TRAVEL ALONG THE OUTER SHELL OF THE BUILDING OR MAY FOLLOW METAL
GUTTERS AND DOWN SPOUTS TO THE GROUND. INSIDE A
STRUCTURE...LIGHTNING CAN FOLLOW CONDUCTORS SUCH AS THE ELECTRICAL
WIRING...PLUMBING...AND TELEPHONE LINES TO THE GROUND.

UNLESS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED TO BE LIGHTNING SAFE...SMALL STRUCTURES
DO NOT PROTECT OCCUPANTS FROM LIGHTNING. MANY SMALL OPEN SHELTERS ON
ATHLETIC FIELDS...GOLF COURSES...PARKS...ROADSIDE PICNIC AREAS...
SCHOOL YARDS...AND ELSEWHERE ARE DESIGNED TO PROTECT PEOPLE FROM
RAIN AND SUN...BUT NOT LIGHTNING. A SHELTER THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN
PLUMBING OR WIRING THROUGHOUT...OR SOME OTHER MECHANISM FOR
GROUNDING FROM THE ROOF TO GROUND...IS NOT SAFE. SMALL WOOD...
VINYL...OR METAL SHEDS OFFER NO PROTECTION FROM LIGHTNING AND SHOULD
BE AVOIDED DURING THUNDERSTORMS.

THERE ARE THREE MAIN WAYS LIGHTNING ENTERS HOMES AND BUILDINGS: A
DIRECT STRIKE...THROUGH WIRES OR PIPES THAT EXTEND OUTSIDE THE
STRUCTURE...AND THROUGH THE GROUND. REGARDLESS OF THE METHOD OF
ENTRANCE...ONCE IN A STRUCTURE...THE LIGHTNING CAN TRAVEL THROUGH
THE ELECTRICAL...PHONE...PLUMBING...AND RADIO OR TELEVISION
RECEPTION SYSTEMS. LIGHTNING CAN ALSO TRAVEL THROUGH ANY METAL WIRES
OR BARS IN CONCRETE WALLS OR FLOORING.

IN THE PAST...THE USE OF CORDED PHONES WAS THE LEADING CAUSE OF
INDOOR LIGHTNING INJURIES IN THE UNITED STATES. HOWEVER...WITH MORE
AND MORE CORDLESS AND CELL PHONES IN USE...THE NUMBER OF PHONE
INJURIES HAS BEEN DIMINISHING. AT THE SAME TIME...THE NUMBER OF
CHILDREN INJURED WHILE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES THAT ARE PLUGGED INTO A
WALL OR TELEVISION HAS BEEN INCREASING. LIGHTNING CAN TRAVEL LONG
DISTANCES IN BOTH PHONE AND ELECTRICAL WIRES...PARTICULARLY IN RURAL
AREAS. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND DOORS AS THESE CAN PROVIDE THE
PATH FOR A DIRECT STRIKE TO ENTER A HOME. DO NOT LIE ON THE CONCRETE
FLOOR OF A GARAGE AS IT LIKELY CONTAINS A WIRE MESH. IN GENERAL
BASEMENTS ARE A SAFE PLACE TO GO DURING THUNDERSTORMS.
HOWEVER...THERE ARE SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND. AVOID CONTACT WITH
CONCRETE WALLS WHICH MAY CONTAIN METAL REINFORCING BARS. AVOID
WASHERS AND DRYERS WINCE THEY NOT ONLY HAVE CONTACTS WITH THE
PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS...BUT ALSO CONTAIN AN ELECTRICAL
PATH TO THE OUTSIDE THROUGH THE DRYER VENT.

LIGHTNING ALSO CAUSES SIGNIFICANT DAMAGE TO PERSONAL PROPERTY EACH
YEAR. IN ADDITION TO DIRECT STRIKES...LIGHTNING GENERATES ELECTRICAL
SURGES THAT CAN DAMAGE ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT SOME DISTANCE FROM THE
ACTUAL STRIKE. TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE...UNPLUG SENSITIVE ELECTRONIC
EQUIPMENT FROM ALL CONDUCTORS WELL BEFORE A THUNDERSTORM THREATENS.
FOR YOUR SAFETY...DO NOT UNPLUG EQUIPMENT FROM THE WALL WHEN A
THUNDERSTORM IS NEARBY. DONT FORGET TO DISCONNECT TELEVISIONS OR
RADIOS FROM OUTDOOR ANTENNAS! IF YOU PLAN TO BE AWAY FROM YOUR HOME
WHEN THUNDERSTORMS ARE POSSIBLE...BE SURE TO UNPLUG UNNEEDED
EQUIPMENT BEFORE YOU LEAVE.

SUMMARY OF LIGHTNING SAFETY TIPS FOR INSIDE THE HOME

1. AVOID CONTACT WITH CORDED PHONES.
2. AVOID AVOID CONTACT WITH ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT OR CORDS. IF YOU
PLAN TO UNPLUG ANY ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT...DO SO WELL BEFORE THE
STORM ARRIVES.
3. AVOID CONTACT WITH PLUMBING. DO NOT WASH YOUR HANDS...DO NOT TAKE
A SHOWER...DO NOT WASH DISHES...AND DO NOT DO LAUNDRY.
4. STAY AWAY FROM WINDOWS AND DOORS...AND STAY OFF PORCHES.
5. DO NOT LIE ON CONCRETE FLOORS AND DO NOT LEAN AGAINST CONCRETE
WALLS.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING
SAFETY...VISIT THE LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:

HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV/ (ALL LOWER CASE)

$$

7:05 AM in Huntsville

75F near the airport.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lightning Safety Outdoors

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
800 AM CDT WED JUN 24 2009

...LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK CONTINUES...
...LIGHTNING SAFETY OUTDOORS...

MOST LIGHTNING DEATHS AND INJURIES IN THE UNITED STATES OCCUR DURING
THE SUMMER MONTHS AND DURING THE AFTERNOON HOURS WHEN BOTH LIGHTNING
AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES REACH A PEAK. DURING THE SUMMER...PEOPLE TAKE
ADVANTAGE OF THE WARM WEATHER TO ENJOY A MULTITUDE OF RECREATIONAL
ACTIVITIES. TO BE SAFE...THOSE WHO ARE BOATING...SWIMMING...
FISHING...BICYCLING...GOLFING...JOGGING...WALKING...HIKING...
CAMPING...WORKING...OR JUST OUTSIDE IN THEIR BACK YARDS NEED TO TAKE
THE APPROPRIATE ACTIONS IN A TIMELY MANNER WHEN THUNDERSTORMS
APPROACH.

BEING OUTDOORS WHEN THUNDERSTORMS ARE NEARBY IS RISKY. THERE IS
SIMPLY NO SAFE PLACE OUTSIDE ANY TIME A THUNDERSTORM IS NEARBY. IN
2008...ALL LIGHTNING FATALITIES OCCURRED OUTDOORS AND MORE THAN ONE
THIRD OF THE FATALITIES INVOLVED WATER-RELATED ACTIVITIES. IN
ADDITION...MORE THAN A THIRD OF THE VICTIMS WERE UNDER OR NEAR A
TREE THAT WAS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.

TO MINIMIZE YOUR THREAT OF BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING WHILE
OUTDOORS...IT IS IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHEN THE LIGHTNING THREAT BEGINS
TO INCREASE SIGNIFICANTLY AND WHEN THE THREAT IS REDUCED TO MINIMAL
LEVELS. IN GENERAL...THE THREAT BEGINS WELL BEFORE PEOPLE THINK IT
BEGINS...AND ENDS WELL AFTER PEOPLE THINK IT ENDS. UNFORTUNATELY...
ITS THIS LACK OF UNDERSTANDING THAT ACCOUNTS FOR MANY LIGHTNING
CASUALTIES.

WHILE NO ONE CAN COMPLETELY ELIMINATE THE RISK OF BEING STRUCK BY
LIGHTNING...BY USING SOME BASIC RULES...YOU CAN GREATLY REDUCE YOUR
RISK OF BECOMING A LIGHTNING CASUALTY.

1. PLAN AHEAD. IF THUNDERSTORMS ARE FORECAST...CONSIDER CANCELING OR
POSTPONING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES SO THAT YOU AVOID A POTENTIALLY
DANGEROUS SITUATION.

2. MONITOR THE WEATHER CONDITIONS. WATCH THE SKY FOR ANY SIGNS OF A
DEVELOPING OR APPROACHING STORM...PARTICULARLY IF YOU NEED A LONG
TIME TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE.

3. IF THE SKY LOOKS THREATENING OR YOU HEAR THUNDER...IMMEDIATELY
SEEK SAFETY INSIDE A SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING. IF A SUBSTANTIAL BUILDING
IS NOT AVAILABLE...TAKE SHELTER IN A HARD-TOPPED METAL VEHICLE.
REMAIN THERE FOR AT LEAST 30 MINUTES AFTER THE LAST FLASH OF
LIGHTNING IS SEEN OR THE LAST THUNDER IS HEARD. SOME LIGHTNING
VICTIMS HAVE MADE THE MISTAKE OF RETURNING OUTDOORS BEFORE THE
THREAT IS OVER.

4. IF YOU ARE CAUGHT OUTSIDE IN A THUNDERSTORM...YOU SHOULD AVOID
THINGS THAT INCREASE YOUR RISK OF BEING STRUCK. REMEMBER THOUGH...
TO SUBSTANTIALLY LOWER THE RISK OF BEING STRUCK YOU MUST GET
INSIDE. IN THESE INSTANCES...AVOID TALL OBJECTS SUCH AS TALL TREES
AND POLES...AVOID THINGS THAT CONDUCT ELECTRICITY SUCH AS METAL
BLEACHERS OR WIRE FENCES...AND TRY TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE AS FAST AS
YOU CAN.

IF YOU OR YOUR CHILDREN ARE INVOLVED IN ORGANIZED OUTDOOR
RECREATIONAL ACTIVITIES...MAKE SURE IN ADVANCE THAT THE OFFICIALS IN
CHARGE HAVE AND FOLLOW A SPECIFIC LIGHTNING SAFETY PLAN. DONT BE
AFRAID TO ASK. COACHES...UMPIRES...REFEREES...OR CAMP COUNSELORS
MUST LEARN TO PROTECT THE SAFETY OF THE PARTICIPANTS AND SPECTATORS
TO GET TO A SAFE PLACE BEFORE THE LIGHTNING THREAT BECOMES
SIGNIFICANT. IN CERTAIN INSTANCES...SUBSTANTIAL BUILDINGS MAY NOT BE
AVAILABLE FOR SHELTER...AND CARS AND BUSES MAY PROVIDE THE BEST
PROTECTION...BUT BE SURE THE WINDOWS ARE CLOSED AND THAT THE
OCCUPANTS AVOID CONTACT WITH ANY METAL IN THE VEHICLE.

FINALLY...DONT FORGET THE SAFETY OF YOUR OUTSIDE PETS. DOG HOUSES
ARE NOT SAFE...AND DOGS WHICH ARE CHAINED TO METAL CHAINS OR WIRE
RUNNERS ARE PARTICULARLY VULNERABLE TO A NEARBY LIGHTNING STRIKE.


FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY...
VISIT THE LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:

HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV/ (ALL LOWER CASE)

$$

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

50,000 Degrees

...THE SCIENCE OF LIGHTNING...

THIS WEEK IS NATIONAL LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK. LIGHTNING
KILLS--PLAY IT SAFE!

ALL THUNDERSTORMS CONTAIN THUNDER AND LIGHTNING. AS LIGHTNING
PASSES THROUGH THE AIR, IT RAPIDLY HEATS THE AIR TO 50,000 DEGREES
FAHRENHEIT, MUCH HOTTER THAN THE SURFACE OF THE SUN. DURING A
LIGHTNING DISCHARGE, THE SUDDEN HEATING OF THE AIR CAUSES IT TO
RAPIDLY EXPAND AND CONTRACT. THIS IN TURN CAUSES A SHOCK WAVE THAT
WE HEAR AS THUNDER.

LIGHTNING CAN OCCUR COMPLETELY WITHIN THE THUNDERSTORM CLOUD, BETWEEN
CLOUDS, OR BETWEEN THE CLOUD AND THE GROUND. CLOUD-TO-GROUND
LIGHTNING CAN BE CATEGORIZED AS NEGATIVE FLASHES AND POSITIVE
FLASHES. PRIOR TO A NEGATIVE FLASH, AN ALMOST INVISIBLE NEGATIVELY
CHARGED CHANNEL OF AIR FORMS NEAR THE CLOUD BASE AND SURGES DOWNWARD
NEAR THE GROUND. AT THE SAME TIME, STREAMERS OF POSITIVE CHARGES
SHOOT UP FROM TREES, BUILDINGS, AND OTHER HIGH OBJECTS ON THE
GROUND. WHEN THESE MEET, THE CONNECTION IS COMPLETE, AND A SURGE OF
ELECTRICAL CURRENT MOVES FROM THE GROUND TO THE CLOUD CAUSING THE
VISIBLE RETURN STROKE CALLED LIGHTNING.

POSITIVE FLASHES USUALLY OCCUR BETWEEN THE POSITIVELY CHARGED UPPER
LEVEL OF THE STORM AND THE NEGATIVELY CHARGED AREAS UNDER THE
STORM. THE PROCESS OF A POSITIVE FLASH IS SIMILAR TO THAT OF THE
NEGATIVE FLASH. HOWEVER, BECAUSE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN THE GROUND
AND THE STORM TOP ANVIL IS MUCH GREATER, A SIGNIFICANTLY LARGER
ELECTRIC POTENTIAL IS NEEDED TO INITIATE A POSITIVE FLASH OF
LIGHTNING. FOR THIS REASON, POSITIVE FLASHES ARE INFREQUENT AND
WIDELY SCATTERED AROUND THE STORM, BUT THEY GENERALLY INVOLVE THE
EXCHANGE OF MUCH GREATER CHARGE AND ARE MUCH MORE DESTRUCTIVE.

THE GREATEST DANGER ASSOCIATED WITH POSITIVE CHARGES, HOWEVER, IS
THAT THEY STRIKE IN AREAS WHERE MOST PEOPLE THINK THEY ARE SAFE FROM
THE STORM. THEY CAN STRIKE WELL BEYOND THE AREA WHERE RAIN IS
FALLING AND WELL BEYOND THE AREA WHERE LIGHTNING AND THUNDER ARE
OCCURRING--AS MUCH AS 10 MILES AWAY! CONSEQUENTLY, MANY VICTIMS ARE
CAUGHT COMPLETELY OFF GUARD. DO NOT BECOME A LIGHTNING VICTIM--GET
TO A SAFE PLACE SOONER AND STAY THERE LONGER. REMEMBER, IF YOU CAN
HEAR THUNDER, YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO GET STRUCK! FOR MORE ON
LIGHTNING SAFETY, GO TO WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV.

$$

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Monday, June 22, 2009

National Lightning Safety Awareness Week

AWESOME link to lightning safety info on the NSSTC Weather Blog

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT

NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
456 AM CDT MON JUN 22 2009

...AN INTRODUCTION TO LIGHTNING SAFETY...

THIS WEEK IS NATIONAL LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK. LIGHTNING
KILLS--PLAY IT SAFE!

IN THE UNITED STATES EACH YEAR, THERE ARE ABOUT 25 MILLION CLOUD-TO-
GROUND LIGHTNING STRIKES. WHILE LIGHTNING CAN BE FASCINATING TO
WATCH, IT IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS. DURING THE LAST 30 YEARS,
LIGHTNING HAS KILLED AN AVERAGE OF 73 PEOPLE PER YEAR IN THE UNITED
STATES WHILE INJURING 300 MORE. BRINGING THAT DOWN TO THE LOCAL
LEVEL, ALABAMA HAD 102 REPORTED LIGHTNING DEATHS BETWEEN 1959 AND
2006,RANKING 24TH IN THE NATION FOR HIGHEST MORTALITY RATE.

DURING A THUNDERSTORM, EACH LIGHTNING FLASH IS A POTENTIAL KILLER.
LIGHTNING CAN EVEN STRIKE UP TO 10 MILES FROM THE MAIN AREA OF THE
THUNDERSTORM. THAT IS ABOUT THE DISTANCE YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER FROM
THE STORM. WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN SEE THE ACTUAL LIGHTNING FLASH,
IF YOU CAN HEAR THUNDER, YOU ARE AT RISK OF BEING STRUCK. IN
ADDITION TO THE VISIBLE FLASH OF LIGHTNING, THE CURRENT ASSOCIATED
WITH THE LIGHTNING DISCHARGE TRAVELS ALONG THE GROUND. ALTHOUGH
SOME VICTIMS ARE STRUCK DIRECTLY BY THE STROKE, MANY VICTIMS ARE
STRUCK AS THE CURRENT MOVES IN AND ALONG THE GROUND.

PEOPLE NEED TO BECOME AWARE OF WHAT BEHAVIOR PUTS THEM AT THE
GREATEST RISK OF BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND KNOW WHAT THEY CAN
DO TO REDUCE THAT RISK. THOSE IN CHARGE OF OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES AND
EVENTS SHOULD HAVE AND FOLLOW A SPECIFIC LIGHTNING SAFETY PLAN TO
MINIMIZE DANGER TO PARTICIPANTS AND SPECTATORS. THE GREATEST
NUMBER OF LIGHTNING DEATHS AND INJURIES OCCURS DURING THE SUMMER
MONTHS WHEN BOTH LIGHTNING AND OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES REACH THEIR
PEAKS. DURING THE SUMMER, PEOPLE TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WARM WEATHER
TO ENJOY A MULTITUDE OF OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES. UNFORTUNATELY, THOSE
ACTIVITIES PUT THEM AT GREATER RISK OF BEING STRUCK. EVEN
INDOORS, PEOPLE MUST AVOID ACTIVITIES THAT PUT THEM AT RISK. IN
PARTICULAR, PEOPLE SHOULD STAY AWAY FROM OUTSIDE DOORS AND WINDOWS
AND AVOID CONTACT WITH ANYTHING THAT CONDUCTS ELECTRICITY.

FINALLY, IN THE EVENT THAT A PERSON IS STRUCK BY LIGHTNING,
IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE MAY BE NECESSARY TO SAVE THE PERSONS LIFE.
CARDIAC ARREST, BURNS, AND NERVE DAMAGE ARE COMMON IN CASES WHERE
PEOPLE HAVE BEEN STRUCK BY LIGHTNING. HOWEVER, WITH PROPER
TREATMENT, INCLUDING CPR IF NECESSARY, MOST VICTIMS SURVIVE A
LIGHTNING STRIKE EVEN THOUGH THE LONG TERM EFFECTS ON THEIR LIVES
AS WELL AS THE LIVES OF THEIR FAMILIES CAN BE DEVASTATING. FOR MORE
INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING SAFETY, VISIT
WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV.

$$


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sunday, June 21, 2009

National Lightning Safety Week Begins

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
750 AM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

...LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK BEGINS TODAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HAS DECLARED THE WEEK OF JUNE 21ST
THROUGH JUNE 27TH LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEEK.

THIS WEEK...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN HUNTSVILLE WILL ISSUE A
SERIES OF DAILY PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENTS CONTAINING INFORMATION
ON LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY. EACH DAY WE WILL FOCUS ON A
DIFFERENT LIGHTNING SAFETY TOPIC. THE DAILY TOPICS WILL BE:

MONDAY JUNE 22ND...LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY - AN INTRODUCTION.

TUESDAY JUNE 23RD...UNDERSTANDING THE SCIENCE OF THUNDERSTORMS AND
LIGHTNING.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 24TH...LIGHTNING SAFETY OUTDOORS.

THURSDAY JUNE 25TH...SAFE SHELTERS AND INDOOR SAFETY.

FRIDAY JUNE 26TH...THE FACTS ABOUT LIGHTNING STRIKE VICTIMS.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT LIGHTNING AND LIGHTNING SAFETY...
VISIT THE LIGHTNING SAFETY AWARENESS WEB SITE AT:

HTTP://WWW.LIGHTNINGSAFETY.NOAA.GOV/ (ALL LOWER CASE)

$$

Lows are not low...

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
153 AM CDT SUN JUN 21 2009

..RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE AT HUNTSVILLE ON SATURDAY...

THE MINIMUM TEMPERATURE ON SATURDAY AT THE HUNTSVILLE INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT WAS JUST 74 DEGREES. THIS BREAKS THE HIGHEST MINIMUM
TEMPERATURE EVER RECORDED ON THIS DATE...72 SET IN 1967.

THIS IS THE FOURTH CONSECUTIVE RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE SET
AT HUNTSVILLE.

$$

BCC
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Friday, June 19, 2009

High Heat Indices in Alabama


4:21 PM on my car in Decatur...

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE BIRMINGHAM AL
928 AM CDT FRI JUN 19 2009

..HIGH HEAT INDICIES EXPECTED THROUGH THE WEEKEND...

HIGH TEMPERATURES IN THE MID TO UPPER 90S ARE EXPECTED FOR FRIDAY
CONTINUING INTO THE WEEKEND. HIGH HUMIDITY VALUES COMBINED WITH
THESE TEMPERATURES...WILL PUSH HEAT INDEX VALUES INTO THE 100 TO 105
DEGREE RANGE. ANYONE PLANNING OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR AN EXTENDED
PERIOD OF TIME SHOULD EXERCISE CAUTION. DRINK PLENTY OF WATER AND
TAKE FREQUENT BREAKS. CHECK ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS...AND
OUTDOOR PETS.


$$
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Heat and Humidity in Alabama

I have been on vacation and have taken a bit of a break from posting. The story this week in Alabama has the heat. While I was in Chicago, temperatures were in the mid 50's while the boys and I attended a White Sox game. Highs have been well into the 90's in Alabama and even the mornings have been very warm and humid. It has been one of those weeks in which it felt like you walked into an oven as soon as you took a step outside. Speaking of ovens, WAFF 48 meteorologist Brad Travis used the occasion to bake cookies in his car!

Yesterday's record high for Huntsville of 104 was not in jeopardy. The high at the Huntsville International Airport was "only" 95. But we did set a record.....

RECORD EVENT REPORT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE HUNTSVILLE AL
117 AM CDT FRI JUN 19 2009

...RECORD HIGH MINIMUM TEMPERATURE AT HUNTSVILLE ON THURSDAY...

THE MINIMUM TEMPERATURE ON THURSDAY AT THE HUNTSVILLE INTERNATIONAL
AIRPORT WAS 74 DEGREES. THIS TIES THE HIGHEST MINIMUM TEMPERATURE
EVER RECORDED ON THIS DATE...WHICH WAS LAST SET IN 1964.

$$

While I was in Chicago, storms peppered Alabama on a regular basis. Daniel Lamb posted a very good summary of the storm events on the NSSTC Weather blog.

...

Sunday, June 14, 2009

mcd1111.png

MESOSCALE DISCUSSION 1111
NWS STORM PREDICTION CENTER NORMAN OK
1045 AM CDT SUN JUN 14 2009

AREAS AFFECTED...NRN AND CNTRL AL

CONCERNING...SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 406...

VALID 141545Z - 141715Z

THE SEVERE WEATHER THREAT FOR SEVERE THUNDERSTORM WATCH 406
CONTINUES.

THE THREAT FOR MORE WIDESPREAD DAMAGING WINDS SHOULD CONTINUE TO
INCREASE INTO AFTERNOON WITH ORGANIZING BOW ECHO. A NEW WW MAY
BECOME NECESSARY BY 17Z.

BOW ECHO CONTINUES TO ORGANIZE THIS MORNING WITH LEADING EDGE OF
CONVECTIVE SYSTEM EXTENDING FROM LAUDERDALE...COLBERT AND FRANKLIN
COUNTIES IN NWRN AL TO LOWNDES COUNTY MS AS OF 1530Z. MCS MOTION
HAD INCREASED TO AROUND 42 KT. IMMEDIATE INFLOW AIR MASS HAS WARMED
TO 80-85 F AND WHEN COUPLED WITH DEWPOINTS OF 70-75 F...ENVIRONMENT
IS MODERATE TO POTENTIALLY STRONGLY UNSTABLE WITH MLCAPE OF
2000-3000 J/KG /PER MODIFICATION OF 12Z BHM SOUNDING/.

FIELD OF GROWING CUMULUS FROM VICINITY OF BOW ECHO SEWD THROUGH CSG
IS LIKELY DELINEATING THE AXIS OF STRONGEST DESTABILIZATION AND
CONVERGENCE IN THE BOUNDARY LAYER. IT IS LIKELY THAT SYSTEM WILL
CONTINUE TO FORWARD-PROPAGATE SEWD ALONG THIS AXIS. LATEST VWP DATA
FROM MEM SHOWS A MARKED STRENGTHENING IN ZONAL FLOW IN THE 2-5 KM
AGL LAYER /CONSISTENT WITH EARLIER OBS AT LIT/ WHICH WILL SERVE TO
ENHANCE THE REAR INFLOW JET INTO SYSTEM WITH A LIKELY INCREASE IN
DAMAGING WIND POTENTIAL INTO THIS AFTERNOON.

..MEAD.. 06/14/2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Tour of the NWS Huntsville

Meteorologist Andy Kula very graciously provided my sons and I a very nice tour of the National Weather Service Office in Huntsville, Alabama on 6/8/09.




WSR-74C radar from the old WSO Huntsville, which replaced the WSR-3 radar in 1977.


Andy is pointing at a poster of the last F5 tornado in Iowa prior to last year's Parkersburg EF5. I think it occurred on June 13,1976.


Andy is showing us a velocity image of the EF2 tornado that hit Madison, Alabama on May 6, 2009. This image was provided by the Baron Services radar. Images from this radar were sent via email and Facebook to the NWS to assist in the warning process. Wind Velocity was over 80 mph at an elevation of 1100 feet in this image.

http://www.bamawx.com/2009/05/madison-tornado-rated-ef2.html




Amateur Radio area.






Hytop Nexrad computer.




Andy shows us that they still sometimes use hand-drawn maps. I liked that.






Can NOAA Weather Radio pronounce "Hulaco", Alabama?



NOAA Weather Radio in Huntsville 6/8/09



...

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Monday, June 01, 2009

Hot 1st Day of Meteorological Summer

4:30 PM in NE Huntsville. The boys and were playing a little football down at the park and it didn't take long to get sweaty.

The official high in Huntsville was 93 degrees at 2:13 p.m.

...