Find us on Google+

Category: Hodgepodge

James Spann App Update

| 9:22 pm July 1, 2015

Again, I apologize to all of you who have not been able to access weather data from the James Spann 24/7 app over the past 48 hours. Here is the situation….

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 7.47.16 AM

*Unfortunately, the James Spann 24/7 app is going away. Functionality will not return.

*The developer was sold, and they opted not to support the app, and to take it offline yesterday. Nothing we can do.

*On the positive side, we have decided to roll out one new app for ABC 33/40. No more separate apps for James Spann, weather, news, and sports… just one very clean app. All of the content that was available on old James Spann 24/7 app, and the old ABC 33/40 weather app, will be there. It has been submitted to Apple and Google for their app stores, and we are just waiting for approval.

I do believe this will make it easier for all of us, but we are so sorry James Spann 24/7 went offline before the new one hits the app stores.

FOR NOW: This is how to get all of the various products that are on the old James Spann 24/7 app…

WEATHER BLOG: If you are reading this, then you are on the blog. I post two detailed meteorological discussions daily here, and during active weather the blog is updated very frequently. Our posts are written by meteorologists that understand Alabama weather, and the needs of the people that live here. We work long hours keeping this updated.

SEVEN DAY FORECAST: Our seven day is available on the blog anytime here.

WEATHER XTREME VIDEO: This twice daily video is embedded in the blog discussions I write. You can also see the video via YouTube here. And, we also offer this video as a video podcast… just search for Weather Xtreme video in your favorite podcast app. Here is a link to the iTunes version.

WEATHERBRAINS: Our weekly show all about weather has a video and an audio version. For the audio podcast, just search for “Weatherbrains” in your favorite podcast app; here is a link to the audio files from our provider, Libsyn. For the video version, here is the YouTube link.

And, for show notes and more details on the show, just see the Weatherbrains web site. We produce the show most weeks Monday night at 8:30 CT… here is a link to the live stream and chat room. You can also watch it on our digital weather channel, “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state.

SUMBIT PICTURES/VIDEO: One of the great parts of the app was the ability to do this easily. You can send pictures or video to me anytime via email directly.

SOCIAL MEDIA: You can find me on all of the major social networks here… you can always submit pictures, ask questions, or share comments on any of these platforms.

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I will let you know the minute the new app is available. And again, thank you for your patience!

App Issues

| 8:52 am July 1, 2015

Most all of you have noticed by now the “James Spann 24/7″ app is not functioning. The issue started early yesterday, and there has been no resolution as of this morning.

It seems as though the company that developed the app for us has been sold, and they have decided “not to support” it anymore. Very frustrating, and we are working on a quick fix with a new developer. Hopefully the app will be operational again very soon.

I am truly sorry about the inconvenience… I am honored that you have downloaded this app, and I don’t take your loyalty for granted. I am honored you are coming here for weather information.

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 7.47.16 AM

The goal of the James Spann 24/7 app was to have all of my products and services available in one place on a phone or tablet.

With the app being down, I just wanted to let you know how to get all of the various products that are on the app.

WEATHER BLOG: If you are reading this, then you are on the blog. I post two detailed meteorological discussions daily here, and during active weather the blog is updated very frequently. Our posts are written by meteorologists that understand Alabama weather, and the needs of the people that live here. We work long hours keeping this updated.

SEVEN DAY FORECAST: Our seven day is available on the blog anytime here.

WEATHER XTREME VIDEO: This twice daily video is embedded in the blog discussions I write. You can also see the video via YouTube here. And, we also offer this video as a video podcast… just search for Weather Xtreme video in your favorite podcast app. Here is a link to the iTunes version.

WEATHERBRAINS: Our weekly show all about weather has a video and an audio version. For the audio podcast, just search for “Weatherbrains” in your favorite podcast app; here is a link to the audio files from our provider, Libsyn. For the video version, here is the YouTube link.

And, for show notes and more details on the show, just see the Weatherbrains web site. We produce the show most weeks Monday night at 8:30 CT… here is a link to the live stream and chat room. You can also watch it on our digital weather channel, “James Spann 24/7″ on cable systems around the state.

SUMBIT PICTURES/VIDEO: One of the great parts of the app was the ability to do this easily. You can send pictures or video to me anytime via email directly.

SOCIAL MEDIA: You can find me on all of the major social networks here… you can always submit pictures, ask questions, or share comments on any of these platforms.

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

Again, as soon as I know more about the status of the app I will post it here. Thanks for being patient…

Loss Of A Legend

| 7:26 pm May 11, 2015

When J.B.’s son Steve broke the news to me this afternoon, it almost took my breath away. Yes, we all know J.B.’s heath was failing, but I don’t think anyone expected his death so soon.

J.B. Elliott was born April 17, 1932, about one month after a generational tornado outbreak that killed hundreds of Alabamians on March 21 of that year. He would live through, and work two of those events in his long career; April 3, 1974, and April 27, 2011.

I could not ask for a better role model in the field of meteorology, living out the Christian faith, or being a husband and father.

55494_1702116191789_7447021_o

J.B. is a 32-year veteran of the National Weather Service. (It was known as the U.S. Weather Bureau when he signed on in the spring of 1957.) Ironically, at the moment he arrived at the office at Birmingham Airport for the very first day on duty, a tornado was on the ground in Walker County causing several fatalities.

J.B. spent his entire NWS career in the Birmingham office and witnessed numerous major Alabama weather events. He always was especially interested in severe weather and spent many long hours on duty during adverse weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, snow events and ice storms. He worked for 17 hours in a row without a break during the famous tornado Super Outbreak of April 3, 4, 1974. He was also on duty as part of a team when a powerful F5 tornado ripped across the western section of Birmingham in April, 1977.

It was known as the Smithfield tornado. During all his years in severe weather work, he was awarded not only a U.S. Department of Commerce Bronze Medal but also the Silver Medal.

When growing up in West Alabama’s Hale County (Havana Junction!) he always wanted to be a weatherman, newspaper reporter, radio broadcaster or photographer. His career in meteorology has included all of that. He was one of the persons that handled the NOAA Weather Radio broadcasts from the Weather Service. He was responsible for thousands of weather stories, warnings and special feature items over the years.

As a kid, he built a small radio “studio” in the corner of his bedroom and practiced doing newscasts, and of course weather, with a wooden “microphone.” His main source of news was a day-old Birmingham Age-Herald, The Tuscaloosa News, The Greensboro Watchman and jotting down items he heard on WJRD Radio, Tuscaloosa. He also printed a two page weekly newspaper, “Hometown News” by hand and mailed a copy to relatives in Worcester, Massachusetts and charged them five cents. It cost three cents to mail it!.

Of course weather was often the main headline.

He ordered a $4 plastic rain gauge from a catalog. His parents bought him a 29-cent thermometer and a 5-cent notebook. He started keeping weather records and was hooked. At Akron High School, one of his teachers, W.W. Duncan, was very interested in weather. He encouraged J.B. to follow that and gave him an assignment to brief the science class once a week on all of the new developments in weather.

During his NWS career, J.B. was very active in photography and the duty of photographing storm damage sort of defaulted to him. In fact, for several years it was his responsibility to do storm surveys and determine the “F” rating of a tornado, path length, width, fatalities and injuries for the official NWS publication, Storm Data. The Super Outbreak in 1974 was an enormous task.

I met J.B. in the 1970s when I was an electrical engineering student, but with a true passion for weather. We bonded instantly, and during my early days as a television weather anchor in Birmingham at Channel 13, we spent much time together, especially during my break between the 6:00 and 10:00 newscast, and when he was also on the “night shift”. He was a friend, mentor, and father figure to me. My dad walked away from my family when I was 7 years old, so he filled a very important role in my life.

11149292_10205092897976890_7457344154858328603_n

J.B. was always there with an encouraging word, and some weather knowledge for me to take away. It was that way when he worked for the National Weather Service, and when he worked for our private weather company after his retirement from government work, which came in 1989.

JB-Retirement-Bham-News-0417891-Picture-copy-600

For many years J.B. would ride with me to school visits across Alabama. I cherish the stories and laughter we enjoyed on the roads less traveled.

Many loved hearing J.B. on our weekly show “WeatherBrains”, and he had countless fans that loved reading his afternoon weather discussion here on the blog, along with the adventures of his beloved dog “Little Miss Molly”.

204656_10150174086883193_115452_o

J.B and his wife, Judy, were married for over 50 years. She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona, Ironically, she and J.B. met out at the Birmingham Airport when she and her “boy friend” visited the weather office. They have two grown children and six grandchildren. Son, Steve Elliott is a Birmingham and Center Point fireman. Daughter, Debbie Broome and her husband, Robert live in the Birmingham metro.

Screen Shot 2015-05-11 at 6.35.54 PM

Thank you, J.B., for being my friend, mentor, and encourager. You never had a bad day… and if you did, you never let us know. See you again one day.

Sad News To Report

| 4:40 pm May 11, 2015

jbe2

My long time mentor, J.B. Elliott, who worked at the National Weather Service in Birmingham for over 30 years, passed away this afternoon. Some of you recall hearing him on NOAA Weather Radio for years, and most of you loved hearing him on our show WeatherBrains. He wrote countless posts on the blog.

More to come…

Hear EM Speak About 4/27/2011 Operations Tonight at NWA Meeting

| 9:00 am April 27, 2015
Stitched Panorama

Stitched Panorama

Tonight is our first Chapter Meeting of 2015! The meeting will be at the NWS Birmingham with special quest speaker, Eric Jones, Elmore County Emergency Manager.

Eric, Emergency Management Director for Elmore County and former Director for the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers, will discuss how the Alabama Emergency Management Agency utilizes National Weather Service information prior to and during hazardous weather events. As it is the anniversary of the April 27, 2011 outbreak, Eric will also discuss EMA operations both during and after that historic event, providing an unique prospective of first responders from across the state.

Everyone is invited to arrive between 530-545pm to see the evening weather balloon launch and enjoy pizza (food and drink provided by the NWA). The meeting will begin around 615pm, after the balloon launch. After Eric’s presentation, Jim Stefkovich and Holly Allen will be available to give office tours for those interested. If you haven’t joined or renewed, please do so and be there tonight. Chapter website

70s Tomorrow; Ice Thursday

| 3:36 pm March 3, 2015

An all new edition of the ABC 33/40 Weather Xtreme video is available in the player on the right sidebar of the blog. You can subscribe to the Weather Xtreme video on iTunes by clicking here.

WILD WEATHER SWINGS: A warm front is moving through North Alabama this afternoon; south of the front temperatures are nearing 80 over the southeast corner of the state; on the north side readings are in the 50s over the Tennessee Valley of North Alabama.

All of the state gets in the warm air tomorrow with highs generally in the 70-75 degree range. A few showers are possible during the day, but they will be scattered in nature and it certainly won’t rain all day. The most widespread rain comes tomorrow night as the Arctic front approaches.

Thunderstorms could be involved, but organized severe weather is not expected around here. We do note SPC has a “marginal” severe weather risk defined over parts of Central Mississippi and far West-Central Alabama for late tomorrow and tomorrow night.

WINTER STORM WATCH: NWS offices in Birmingham and Huntsville have issued a winter storm watch for parts of North and West Alabama for Thursday, as Arctic air spills into the state and an upper trough approaches from the west. The winter storm watches are generally west of I-65, and north of a line from Millport to Dora/Sumiton, where ice accumulation is expected to exceed 0.25″.

Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 3.07.12 PM

TIMING: The freeze line should be near Muscle Shoals at midnight tomorrow night… near Cullman at 4:00 a.m. Thursday… I-59 (Birmingham, Tuscaloosa, Gadsden) at 7:00 a.m…. and Anniston at 8:00 a.m. Understand these are approximate times and could change.

snow

PLACEMENT: Some icing is possible as far south as a line from Eutaw to Chelsea to Heflin during the day Thursday as the freeze line keeps moving south. The most significant ice accumulation will be north of I-59.

As usual, Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Anniston, and Gadsden are on the border between rain and freezing rain, but models are in decent agreement that the freeze line will slip a little south of these cities by 8:00 Thursday morning, and icy travel is a very real possibility there.

PRECIPITATION TYPE: Most of this event Thursday morning will feature freezing rain (rain in liquid form that falls with surface temperatures below 32) and sleet (ice pellets); snow flurries are possible Thursday afternoon as the event winds down.

ACCUMULATION: Ice accumulation up to 0.30″ is possible in the winter storm watch areas (west of I-65, and north of a line from Millport to Dora/Sumiton). Elsewhere, amounts will vary from very little to 0.20″. For now significant snow accumulation is not expected with just light flurries on top of the ice.

IMPACT: Where freezing rain falls, travel conditions will become icy and dangerous. Also, where 0.25″ of ice or more accumulates, scattered power outages are possible due to the weight of the ice on trees and power lines, and a north wind of 10-20 mph.

DURATION: Temperatures will stay below freezing all day generally north of I-59, meaning icy travel could continue through the day Thursday, Thursday night, and possibly into Friday morning. Temperatures warm above freezing by mid-morning Friday when conditions will improve greatly.

REMEMBER: This forecast can, and will change. Check the blog for updates as we get closer.

FRIDAY AND THE WEEKEND: These three days will be dry, with partly sunny days and fair nights. We reach the upper 40s Friday afternoon, with mid 50s Saturday and Sunday.

Take some time to watch the Weather Xtreme video for the maps, graphics, and more details.

WEATHER BRAINS: Don’t forget you can listen to our weekly 90 minute netcast anytime on the web, or on iTunes. This is the show all about weather featuring many familiar voices, including our meteorologists here at ABC 33/40.

CONNECT: You can find me on all of the major social networks…

Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus
Instagram

I had a great time today seeing the kids at Randolph Elementary in Bibb County… be looking for them on the Pepsi KIDCAM today at 5:00 on ABC 33/40 News! The next Weather Xtreme video will be posted here by 7:00 a.m. tomorrow…