Weekend Planning: Bo Bikes Bama 2014

Geek Alabama Weekend Planning

Auburn sports legend Bo Jackson will be doing Bo Bikes Bama again this weekend, around Auburn!  Bo Bikes Bama has become an annual bike ride to raise money for the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund which has repaired hundreds of homes and built 27 community storm shelters since the April 27, 2011 tornadoes.  The fund also provides crucial disaster preparedness and emergency management resources for the state of Alabama.  This weekend, there will be a charity auction, a 22-mile bike ride, and a 62-mile bike ride, and did I mention that on the same day is the Auburn Tigers A-Day game!

On Friday April 18th, the Bo Bikes Bama Silent Auction takes place at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art from 6-9 pm.  Join legend Bo Jackson for a silent auction event the evening before the third annual Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride in Auburn Alabama. Enjoy hors d’ oeuvres, beer and wine while browsing a silent auction featuring signed memorabilia from athletes and entertainers.  All proceeds benefit the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund, which has repaired hundreds of homes and built 27 community storm shelters since the April 27, 2011 tornadoes.  Tickets, donations and purchases are tax deductible and help prepare the state of Alabama for future natural disasters.

On Saturday morning, Bo Bikes Bama takes off for a bike ride around the plains.  This year, the third annual Bo Bikes Bama ride will take place in Auburn Alabama on A-Day, Saturday April 19th.  Participating riders can choose either a 62-mile or 22-mile route.  Both routes will take riders through the campus of Auburn University, while the 62-mile route will carry riders through Tuskegee and neighboring Macon County.  Here is the map of the routes below.  The darker color route is the shorter route while the lighter color is the longer route!


The ride will begin and end at the The Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art.  The 62-mile route begins at 7 am while the 22-mile route begins at 9:30 am.  All riders will get a jersey number, t-shirt, light snacks and water at the rest stops, and a meal at the end of the ride.  Of course, the day is topped off by the Auburn Tigers A-Day game at Jordan Hare Stadium on Saturday April 19th at 2 pm.  Tickets are $5 each.  Of course, if you can not make it to Auburn for Bo Bikes Bama or for the A-Day game, you could always watch the A-Day game live on ESPN!

Learn more about Bo Bikes Bama at: https://bobikesbama.com/

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Weekend Planning: Rocket City Weather Fest 2014

Geek Alabama Weekend Planning

This weekend in Huntsville, the 4th annual Rocket City Weather Fest will take place at the Shelby Center on the UAHuntsville campus.  If you or anyone in your family are interested in the weather, this is the event for you!  The event will feature local Huntsville student and professional chapters of the American Meteorological Society and National Weather Association.  They are hosting this free Weather Festival that is great for weather enthusiasts of all ages!


The event will have weather research vehicles which you can sit in and take pictures.  You can attend short presentations like Severe Weather 101.  Several storm shelters will be featured, and anyone can participate in hands-on demonstrations and kids’ crafts.  Special guests at the event will include Greg Carbin from the NOAA Storm Prediction Center.  And Dr. Greg Forbes of The Weather Channel will also be there.  And you can share your thoughts during the Weather Communication Town Hall Discussion.  The event will also have great raffle prizes, presentations, activities and exhibits, there will be something for everyone!  Plus, local meteorologists from the Huntsville TV stations and the Huntsville NWS will be there!

Some of the activities at Rocket City Weather Fest includes a weather balloon launch, weather science vehicles, weather instruments, and kids activities!  Some of the seminars at this event will include weather briefings, looking back on the 1989 Huntsville tornado and the 2011 Super Outbreak, forecasting tornadoes, weather communication town hall, and discussions on lightning and severe weather.  Sponsors for Rocket City Weather Fest includes Alabama Saf-T-Net, UAHuntsville, Jacquelyn Jackson Photography and Miller and Miller Inc.

The entire event is free!  And the event will take place on Saturday February 22nd from 10 am to 4 pm.  The event will take place at the Shelby Center on the UAHuntsville campus which is located along Sparkman Dr.  To learn more about Rocket City Weather Fest, go to: http://www.rocketcityweatherfest.com

Follow on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/rocketcityweatherfest

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The December 21-22 Severe Weather Threat

Geek Alabama Weather Alert

First off let me say this.  This severe weather threat will be nothing like the April 27th 2011 tornado outbreak, but there is a chance we will see some tornadoes and severe winds overnight tonight.  So be weather aware!  These storms will come through Alabama during the overnight hours when most people are asleep, so have a way to wake you up when a warning is issued, like a weather radio.  Everyone should have those!

Today is way too warm for December.  Temperatures will be in the mid 70′s, which will set record highs.  And dewpoints will be in the low 70′s, feeling more like July.  The air we are experiencing today is coming from Jamaica!  With the moist and juicy air, there usually comes a cold front, and severe storms.  Which we will see late this afternoon and into the overnight.  Already to the west, storm are developing in Louisiana and Arkansas and tornado watches are being issued including Tennessee.

Valid at 1 pm Saturday.

Valid at 1 pm Saturday.

So what is the threat for Alabama?  A deep trough is coming out of the southwest and a stationary front will be getting the move on today.  Heavy snow is being generated in the northern sector of this system while other places are experiencing heavy rains which is causing flooding.  The storm system will move through the southeast over the next 36 hours.  To our west in the Mississippi Delta, they will experience supercell storms which will cause big tornadoes.  Then a squall line with high winds will move through.  That is why they are under a moderate risk for severe weather today.

West Alabama stands to see a better chance for a supercell severe storm which could cause a tornado.  Here is the NAM for 7 pm on Saturday.  It shows a chance for a supercell storm in Central Alabama.


Here is the day 1 severe weather outlook from the Storm Prediction Center.  I expect the moderate risk to expand eastward.


Here is the radar for 1 pm central on Saturday December 21st from the NWS.  All of this will be coming over Alabama later tonight.


So here is what to expect.  Alabama will certainly see a strong squall line moving through overnight tonight.  The line will have very strong winds and possible embedded tornadoes which will cause trees to fall and power lines to go down.  If you have Christmas decorations outside, you might want to take them inside for tonight.  Before the squall line arrives in Alabama, there is a chance we will see a few supercell storms which could cause tornadoes, a few strong.  Most of this event will happen when it’s dark outside.  Do not stand outside looking for a tornado, because you won’t see it and it might be rain-wrapped.

Before you go to sleep tonight, have a way to get the warnings when they are issued for your area.  I would have your smartphone and/or weather radio next to your bed tonight.  You may need to take shelter tonight, or you may not.  It depends if a warning is issued for your area.  Here is my map outlook for tonight, stay safe!  I will keep people up to date on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/nvyoung and on Twitter @nvyoung.  Stay alert!

weather map


Sunday Discussion: The 11-17-13 Midwest Severe Weather Outbreak

Geek Alabama Discussion

Today was a rough day across the midwest.  As of this writing, six people have been killed in Illinois and over 70 preliminary tornado reports and over 400 total severe weather were reported today.  This post is going to highlight some of the top photos and videos of the destruction today.  These people are going need some help.  Washington Illinois was one of the hardest hit towns today, these images from Twitter are tough to see.

This video from the YouTube channel Mike Brady shows the damage from Washington, IL taken with Google Glass.

Here is another video from the YouTube channel 28storms where Richard Williams took this video.

Here are more Twitter images from the tornadoes in Illinois from places like Centralia, Gifford, LaSalle County, Gardner, Peoria, Roanoke, and Pekin.

One issue I had today was the NFL not delaying the Ravens vs. Bears game until the storms were right on top of the stadium.  I shared this image from WNST and it got retweeted by many.  Thanks for sharing that image!

Here are videos of the tornadoes and storm damage from the YouTube channels Live Storms NetworkKDR Media, and US Tornadoes via Karla Konieczki.

The storms then moved into Indiana.  Here are tornado and damage pictures from Bone Gap, Lebanon, and Kokomo.

Here is one more video showing the tornadoes and damage from Indiana and Illinois from the YouTube channel StormChasingVideo.

And at the end of the day, the storm chasers did help out the people who were affected by the storms.  Plus you need a sunset of the tough day.

If you want to help the victims of the tornadoes today, the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army can use some donations.  To give to the American Red Cross online, click here.  You can also donate $10 via mobile by texting REDCROSS to 90999.  To donate to the Salvation Army online, click here.  You can donate $10 via mobile by texting STORM to 80888.  I also wanted to highlight the team from Peoria TV station WEEK-TV for actually taking cover before the tornado hit their TV station.  When severe weather is coming, take cover!

And before I wrap this post up, I wanted to talk about The Weather Channel.  Last Tuesday, they came out with new weather graphics for all of their live programming.  Everything from the radars to the forecast computers were updated.  Now, weather information is scrolling at the bottom of the screen 24/7, even during commercials.  Here is a before and after video.

TWC did a good job with the live weather coverage today, but my only problem is the addition of even more non weather programming.  Unless severe weather is happening, you will see reality programming on TWC from 2-5 pm and 8 pm until 4 am the next morning.  On weekends, TWC will show other programming from 2 pm until 4:30 am the next morning.  All times are Eastern.  I guess they have to show something when the weather is non-eventful since people won’t watch.  Yep, I miss the old days of The Weather Channel.

The Evening Post: The Top Tornado Cities

Geek Alabama Evening Post

Have you seen this Weather Channel article listing the top 10 tornado prone cities in America?  If you have not read it yet, click the link.  http://www.weather.com/news/tornado-central/top-tornado-cities-2013-20130415?pageno=2

Sadly, Huntsville was ranked as the number 1 tornado prone city in America.  The article states that Huntsville lies in the Tennessee Valley, surrounded by the hills of the Cumberland Plateau.  The city also lies in Dixie Alley, which is an area prone to violent, long-track tornadoes.  The article also lists Birmingham as number three and Tuscaloosa as the number four most tornado prone cities in America.

What does this all mean for people living in Alabama?  It means YOU need to be weather aware when severe weather occurs.  You must have a way to get weather warnings through a smartphone or weather radio.  Remember, it only takes one tornado going through you neighborhood to make it your April 27th.