Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Storm Chasing 11/8/89 in Tuscaloosa and Hale Counties, Alabama

George H.W. Bush was President of the United States. Power ballads such as "When I See You Smile" by Bad English were topping the charts. Jerome Walton of the Chicago Cubs won the NL Rookie of the Year Award. And, not surprisingly, there was severe weather in Alabama.

Severe thunderstorm approaching Highway 69 in Hale County, Alabama, 11/8/89
The morning of Wednesday November 8, 1989 an F1 tornado struck the northeast side of Dothan in Houston County, Alabama. During the afternoon of November 8, severe reports were confined to a few wind damage reports in West Alabama, but it happened to be a day I remember for a few reasons. My first "storm chasing" experiences were in the 1980s and most of them are not documented. This is not the first, but one of the first I was able to document on video. 

From NOAA Storm Data, November 1989

In these videos you will hear audio of the Birmingham NWS NOAA Weather Radio (with real human voices) and audio of James Spann, Scott Richards, and Janet Hall who were broadcasting the evening news on WBRC 6.  I was listening to them on 87.7 FM.  Channel 6 was the only station in the Birmingham market which had audio fall within the FM radio band. This disappeared when Channel 6 went digital in June 2009. 

Here are the videos:

Thanks for reading and watching!


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